Archived Information

Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier to Host Engagement Session Aimed at Improving Foundation Skills of U.S. Adults

Press Office, (202) 401-1576,

Event Date 1: January 15, 2014 09:30 am - 02:00 pm

Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, will host an engagement session in Cleveland, Miss., on Wed., January 15, to gather input for developing a national plan to improve the preparedness of low-skilled U.S. adults.

The fourth of five regional engagement sessions is being convened to gather feedback that will be used to develop the U.S. response to an OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) report that highlighted the large number of U.S. adults with very low basic skills.

Entitled "Time for the U.S. to Reskill? What the Survey of Adult Skills Says," the report is the first in a decade that quantifies the population of low-skilled adults, identifying some 36 million adults ages 16-65 whose skills in reading, math, and problem-solving in a technology-rich environment fall far short of what’s needed to succeed in the 21st century workforce.

The Department is looking for the country’s best ideas and most creative thinking from educators and policymakers, individuals, business, industry and labor leaders, researchers and data experts, and practitioners in adult education to weigh in on best strategies for improving foundation skills and workforce readiness. The national plan is expected to be released in spring, 2014.

As part of the engagement process, the Department has made available a toolkit for communities and organizations to host their own engagement sessions and contribute their ideas to the development of the plan.

The first three sessions were held in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Redwood City, Calif., and one additional session will take place next week in Fall River, Mass. This session is co-hosted by ED's Office of Vocational and Adult Education and Delta State University, which is located in Cleveland, Miss. For more information about the sessions, please visit

Event 1
Who : Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education
What : Regional Public Engagement Session on Improving Adult Skills
When : 9:30 a.m-2 p.m. CT, Wed., January 15, 2014
Where : Delta State University
H.L. Nowell Student Union State Room
1003 West Sunflower Road
Cleveland, Miss.