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Heritage House among adult learners, Indiana employers honored at 2023 Adult Education Day at the Statehouse

Recently, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Association for Adult and Continuing Education honored Hoosier adult learners and Indiana employers at the 2023 Adult Education Day ceremony, held at the Indiana Statehouse.

"DWD is assisting individuals by continuously providing opportunities to increase their knowledge, skills and abilities through various programs and services our agency administers and our partners offer throughout Indiana," said DWD Commissioner David J. Adams.

Among the employers honored was Heritage House of Shelbyville.

Through numerous programs, adult education students earn credentials, receive post-secondary education, achieve sustainable employment and ultimately reach economic self-sufficiency. In Indiana, 70% of adult learners are employed after earning their HSE and experience an average wage increase of $8,400 annually. In 2022, 3,795 Hoosier adult learners earned their high school equivalency.

"Indiana remains a leader in providing adult education programming that transforms the lives of Hoosier job seekers and workers," said DWD Associate Chief Workforce Strategy and Design Marilyn Pitzulo. "Hoosiers learning new skills and completing their high school equivalency or certification are upskilling to meet the needs of Indiana employers. Congratulations to each business for making an investment in its employees and for the learners who are earning higher wages and increasing their career opportunities."

There are more than 250 adult education class locations – in-person or online - in the state that give students opportunities to increase skills, learn English, access training, obtain industry-recognized credentials and earn a higher-paying job.

"I was making around $11 an hour in a job I had for several years but I felt I was never going anywhere in my career," said Brandy Gilstrap, a Greene County resident. "I enrolled in a 10-week certification program with an adult education provider and graduated last April. I finally feel freedom."

Gilstrap now works as emergency medical technician in Sullivan County.

During the ceremony, 16 business partners were recognized for offering adult education classes to their staff. Employers were honored for one or more of the following:

  • Providing employees’ wages for attending adult education classes;
  • Supplying classroom space and computers or other technology to support students;
  • Providing other classroom materials and supplies;
  • Funding the cost to pay teachers and instructors; and
  • Offering permanent employment to workers who successfully completed classes.

"The partnership between the Indianapolis dormakaba manufacturing plant and Warren Township Adult Education has proven to be a great success," said Ty Howard, a senior human resources manager at dormakaba's Indianapolis plant. "This program has had a positive impact on communication and engagement within the workplace, leading to a sense of belonging among employees. It also increases worker competency, leading to potential growth opportunities within and outside the company."

Adult Education programming is administered by DWD and has a presence in all of Indiana’s 92 counties. Indiana is among the nation’s top states in multiple adult ed categories:

  • No. 1 for student achievement and growth;
  • No. 2 for the number of high school equivalency diplomas awarded; and
  • No. 4 for certificates earned through Integrated Education and Training.