ACT Foundation Assembles Council to Be a Voice for Working Learners

Posted: April 15th, 2014

AUSTIN, TX  (April 16, 2014)ACT Foundation has assembled its inaugural Working Learner Advisory Council to address the needs and challenges of working learners across the country. Recognized as “those who are engaged in some type of employment while also learning new skills in pursuit of greater economic security and overall life satisfaction,” working learners represent a significant and fast growing portion of today’s American workforce.

“The advisory council will serve as a direct voice for working learners and allow us to better assess the challenges this group faces,” stated Parminder K. Jassal, founding executive director of ACT Foundation. “These are paid advisers who will have a major role in shaping our efforts to develop and improve real world solutions that meet their needs.”

Representing diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds from across the nation, the council consists of 12 working learners aged 19 to 29 who were nominated by colleagues and associates for their hard work, leadership, and commitment to personal development. At their initial two-day meeting in early April, the group discussed challenges faced by working learners and ideas for improving education and training programs. The council also provided valuable insight and guidance to ACT Foundation in the development of a “National Learning Economy,” which it defines as a system of active engagement in working and learning opportunities that foster the acquisition of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors – resulting in a more skilled and qualified workforce and enhanced career satisfaction.

In the coming year, the Working Learner Advisory Council will meet monthly to address topics such as learning opportunities for low-income workers, life satisfaction and outcomes, the role of technology innovation in their lives, and the work that is currently underway by the National Network of Business and Industry Associations. They will also engage in digital storytelling projects designed to bring working learners to life for a broad audience and will be joined by additional members recruited and selected in fall 2014.

Members of the 2014 Working Learner Advisory Council

  • Nicholas D’Antonio (Washington, DC)
  • Anthony Davis (Roseburg, OR)
  • Nick Gerber (Worcester, MA)
  • Yadira Gurrola (Chadron, NE)
  • Alan Jimenez (Bucyrus, OH)
  • Morgan Lamborn (Gainesville, FL)
  • Noreen Lopez (Las Cruces, NM)
  • Jennifer Quaye (New Haven, CT)
  • David Rivera (Lubbock, TX)
  • Krista Scott (Gainesville, FL)
  • Jody Stroble (Claremore, OK)
  • Crystal Wallace (Raleigh, NC)

About ACT Foundation

ACT Foundation reaches across organizational boundaries, sectors, and the nation, to fund and develop strategic approaches to support working learners in their individual journeys toward successful careers and lives. Based in Austin, Texas, ACT Foundation is a private, independent organization, endowed by ACT, a nonprofit public trust committed to helping people achieve educational and workplace success. The Foundation connects fifty years of data and insights to catalyze and build a National Learning Economy that will nurture the success of working learners while fueling a stronger economy.


Greg Haley

Director, Strategic Communications, ACT Foundation