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Time for the U.S. to Reskill? CLEE Hosts PIAAC Engagement Session

“…the basic skills of adults in the United States are relatively weak. Unlike many other countries, there has been little sign of improvement in recent decades.”

In November 20, 2013 the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) launched a national engagement effort to explore ways to increase our capacity to improve the foundation skills of adults in the United States – based on the OECD’s PIAAC findings (see Background below.) OVAE is soliciting input from across the country to contribute to a national plan of action to address the skills deficit of U.S. adults.

As part of this effort, the Center for Literacy, Education and Employment is hosting a local engagement session on  March 6th, from 8-9:30am at the University of Tennessee.  This session provides local stakeholders the opportunity to learn about the issues, share ideas and be part of the national solution.

If you are interested in attending contributing to this effort, please contact for registration information.


Time to reskillBackground

On October 8, 2013, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of the Survey of Adult Skills, an international survey that is part of the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). This direct assessment was conducted in 23 countries with nationally representative samples of adults ages 16 through 65.

In an effort to examine the economic and social case for reskilling adults in the United States, the OECD, at the request of the U.S. Department of Education, analyzed the findings using U.S. data from the Survey and prepared a report entitled, Time for the U.S. to Reskill? What the Survey of Adult Skills Says.

The report found that while other countries have been showing improvements in equipping its adult populations with the skills needed to be productive in their society, the United States has remained relatively unchanged in the decade since the last report, thus falling further behind their international counterparts. The findings, in particular, shine a spotlight on a part of our population that has historically been overlooked and under served: the large number of adults with low basic skills. 

For more information on this initiative visit: