Working Learner Advisory Council
The Working Learner Advisory Council members were officially announced in April 2014. Composed of a dozen working learners selected through our open nomination process, the Council is a valuable voice for working learners across the country. The members will advise ACT Foundation on the issues and challenges working learners face, providing an essential perspective for our research and programs. Meet the Working Learner Advisory Council
Working for action and impact
The “traditional” career pathway as we know it is becoming more untraditional every year. Rather than consecutively completing education, entering the workforce, and staying in one or two jobs until retirement, many people now weave together diverse experiences in learning and working throughout their entire careers. These individuals are known as “working learners” – or those actively engaged in working and learning – in pursuit of greater economic security and overall life satisfaction. Today, working learners represent the majority of America’s workforce.
Serving the needs of working learners
To keep up with an ever-evolving workplace, the ability to adapt to change has become a necessity. Most working learners will change jobs and careers several times, and will be required to have advanced skills, training, and/or industry-related certifications. For these individuals, it is important to consider learning options that are:
- proficiency based;
- pursued as needed;
- accessible via technology;
- available in “chunks” of programming;
- offered by institutions or employers; and
- customized to one’s pace and learning style.
For young, low-income working learners, taking advantage of such learning options presents a particular challenge in terms of accessibility, resources, and technology. Many have to face the impossible choice between working to support themselves or their families and furthering their learning experiences. Overcoming these challenges lies at the core of ACT Foundation’s mission. In our journey to build and support a National Learning Economy where working learners have a wide range of options, we are working closely with working learners to better serve their needs by improving access to learning opportunities, providing better connections to employers, and helping to map out more attainable career paths.