A skilled workforce is key to growing jobs, improving family economic security and ensuring the fiscal health of our state.

An educated workforce is among the most important attributes a company looks for when deciding where to expand or locate jobs. Yet, Rhode Island has a “middle skills” gap; we don’t have enough workers who qualify for jobs that require more than a high school diploma and less than a four-year degree. These jobs pay well and are in fields like health care, construction, and marine trades, that can’t be moved to other states or countries. Middle skill jobs are the largest part of the job market.

The Rhode Island Workforce Alliance is a partnership among business, labor, adult education and workforce training providers, philanthropic organizations and other community leaders dedicated to ensuring that our state has a dynamic and comprehensive workforce development system that meets the needs of employers and workers, especially those with low skills. The Alliance advocates for state investments and policies that would enhance the workforce training system in Rhode Island.   If you are interested in getting notes/attending monthly meetings of the Workforce Alliance locally, you can find out more at, or contact Jill Holloway  

NCSDAE  (National Council of State Directors of Adult Education) recently merged their Council  with their professional development group, and you can visit for state and national level info, as well as updates on national trends and legislation, and research into best practices.  

COABE (Coalition on Adult basic Education) has stepped up their advocacy work, in conjunction with the NCSDAE, to create the national Educate and Elevate campaign. Their website:  is full of practical insight and ideas for reaching out to educate your local elected officials about the good work that Adult Education delivers on.

– Art Ellison, our colleague from NH continues to send out the nation-wide alerts when an important issue is before Congress that we should contact our legislators about.  Jill Holloway and Janet Isserlis of the PDC forward these alerts to the field in RI. We are fortunate to have such strong national leaders/proponents of AE as the RI delegation! (Senators Reed & Whitehouse, and Representatives Cicilline & Langevin)

National Skills Coalition is the organization which our RI Workforce Alliance is a member of: they are strong national advocates for Basic Skills/ AE and produce research, webinars and guidance at   contact

-CLASP is the national organization that advocates and educates around national policies that affect those with low-income and/or low-skills.   Sign up for their newsletters on their site: the latest has research into the correlation/causation between low literacy and early mortality, and explains an initiative to create a credentialing system for the national workforce.

-and, of course, the OCTAE blog:


Please let us know if your ‘favorite’ source isn’t listed here, and we will share all of these on our website.