Arkansas Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE™)
WAGE™ is a job readiness program for unemployed and underemployed adults within the Division of Workforce Services, Adult Education Section. The program is administered at adult education centers across the state. WAGE™ is unique from other career readiness programs in that it focuses on improving the basic academic skills of participants while providing workforce preparation and workforce training activities. With the needs of business and industry at its core, WAGE™ addresses the requirement for a competent workforce among entry-level jobs in environments ranging from manufacturing to health care to hospitality and tourism. Participants can earn a Level I and Level II WAGE™ Certificate by completing the requirements of each module.
WAGE™ Level I Certificate:
The Level I WAGE™ Certificate is designed to prepare adult learners with the essential soft skills needed in today’s workforce. A Career Coach works with participants to explore interests through a career assessment, apply employability skills that address competencies in applied knowledge, effective relationships, and workplace skills, and help transition into post-secondary education, training programs, or the workforce. Adult education teachers provide academic instruction and integrate financial and digital literacy into the classroom. Completing the WAGE™ Level I Certificate gives participants the skills needed to attain and retain employment. Participants can also earn the following certifications and credentials in WAGE Level I: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid, Forklift, National Career Readiness Certificate (DWS), OSHA-10, and ServSafe.
WAGE™ Level II Certificate:
The Level II WAGE™ Certificate is designed to support adult learners in choosing a career path within the 16 career clusters. The Adult Education Section’s first phase of career clusters, which are based on high-demand industries in Arkansas, include Business Management and Administration, Education and Training, Health Science, Hospitality and Tourism, Information Technology, and Manufacturing. Adult education teachers provide contextualized learning that enables participants to improve academic skills while learning about a specific career path related to their interests. Learners have an opportunity to earn job industry certifications in and associated with a particular career cluster. Career coaches assist participants in finding employment and enrolling in post-secondary education or training programs. Participants have earned certifications and credentials in welding, Certified Nursing Assistant, CDL, Emergency Medical Technician, Phlebotomy, and much more!
Our WAGE™ programs put the employer at the center of their efforts to identify the skills needed for entry-level jobs or higher performance work in current entry-level jobs. Employers serve on local WAGE™ Advisory Committees, which comprise at least 51% of employers and are chaired by an employer. WAGE™ is an alliance consisting of local employers, employment & training agencies, industrial development organizations, city governments, and public adult education services. WAGE™ programs create cooperation across department lines at local and state levels and place the employer at the center of an effort to redefine basic skills. Local WAGE™ Coordinators conduct literacy task analyses on job positions to identify the literacy skills and thinking strategies needed to perform a specific task.
Return on Investment
Employers may expect the following:
- Improvement in Productivity
- Reduction in Turnover
- Improved Customer Satisfaction
- Improved Safety Performance
- Improved Quality of Product
- Improved Employee Morale
- Increase in Profit
An increase in wages leads to increased tax revenue which benefits the community.