What is WAGE? The Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) is an employer-driven workforce training program. It is a partnership among local business and industry and community providers to assist entry-level employees increase their skills and abilities to meet the demands of today's jobs.
WAGE Fast Facts:
WAGE is a work-based certificate program conducted by Adult Education.
WAGE includes 112 basic skills competencies based on the Secretary's Commision on Achieving Needed Skills (SCANS), determined as essential by the nation's and Arkansas' employers.
WAGE offers three state-related certificates: industrial, clerical, and employability.
The industrila and clerical certificates include all 112 competencies with additional requirements for the respective certificates. The employability certificate allows for local alliances' flexible choices of competencies and grade-level equivalency goals.
WAGE accepts students who assess at less than a 12.9 grade-level (12th grade, 9th month)equivalency on the TEST of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and who have a goal of obtaining a job, retaining a job, improving their skill level to gain imporved employment, or entering next-level workplace training.
WAGE is based on the same alliance principles as the Wrokforce Investment Act and requires more than 50 percent employer participation on the local WAGE alliance advisory committee for an Adult Education Center to be WAGE-certified.
The alliance also includes participation agreements with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, the Arkansas Employment Security Division, WIA, chambers of commerce, human resources associations, local leaders, staffing and training agencies, economic development agencies and boards, as well as other educational providers.
Participating employers allow adult educators to perform literacy tasks analysis on positions that rely on foundation skills for maximized employee performance. Adult educators use the literacy task analyses to customize competencies within the context of local employers.
WAGE uses consistent assessment and aptitude instruments statewide. WAGE industrial and clerical certificates are recognized by employers statewide as having the same standards of 12.9 grade level equivalency on the Level A TABE (math, reading, and language), 100 percent on the WAGE test, and consistent achievement levels on the specific industrial and clerical components' assessments and aptitudes.
Participating employers agree to give added consideration to WAGE students; given all other condidate qualifications are equal.
Some employers provide various incentives to encourage employees to complete WAGE: sign on bonus, increase in hourly rates, and release time for classes, a pre-requisite to be enrolled in next-level workplace training.