Center for American Progress

New Strategies for the Education of Working Adults
Press Advisory

New Strategies for the Education of Working Adults

Featured Panelists:

Brian Bosworth, founder and President, FutureWorks and Affiliated Scholar, Center for American Progress
Phyllis Eisen, Vice President, Manufacturing Institute and Executive Director Center for Workforce Success, National Association of Manufacturers
Dr. James Jacobs, Associate Director for Community College Operations, Community College Research Center, Director, Center for Workforce Development and Policy, Macomb Community College
Cheryl King, Director, National Commission on Adult Literacy
Thea Lee, Assistant Director, Public Policy, AFL-CIO

Moderated by:

Louis Soares, Director, Economic Mobility Program, Center for American Progress

In his new paper, “Lifelong Learning: New Strategies for the Education of Working Adults,” Bosworth proposes innovative changes to federal and state adult education systems to help America better prepare working adults for the 21st Century economy.  The panel and participants will discuss:

  • new adult education tax incentives for individuals and firms;
  • a unique workplace approach to literacy;
  • and a revolution in the use of technology for adult basic education.

Friday, December 07, 2007
Program: 10:00am to 11:30am
Admission is free.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
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Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

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For more information, please call 202.682.1611.


Brian Bosworth is the founder and President of FutureWorks, a solutions oriented economic development consultancy, and an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for American Progress. He has over 30 years of leadership experience in higher education and economic and workforce development as a policy-maker, practitioner, and consultant. Recently, Mr. Bosworth has targeted research and consulting around issues of post-secondary education for working adults, career credentials for occupational education, and adult basic skill development. In partnership with the National Governors’ Association, FutureWorks provided assistance to several states promoting postsecondary access and success for working adults. Mr. Bosworth’s paper: “A Demand-Side Strategy to Meet Indiana’s Workforce Basic Skills Challenge,” helped to shape the state’s adult education and workforce strategy. FutureWorks has also expanded its research and consulting with community and technical colleges throughout the U.S., especially on issues related to access and success (as measured by degree completion) for working adults. Additionally, Mr. Bosworth serves as an adviser to the Lumina Foundation for Education.

Phyllis Eisen is senior vice president of the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers and executive director of the Center for Workforce Success, the education, training and research arm of the NAM. The Manufacturing Institute’s mission is to tell the story of today’s manufacturing to the press and policy makers. The Center’s purpose is to find innovative workforce solutions for U.S. manufacturers enabling them to compete in a competitive global economy. Currently, the Center’s work is focused on helping the NAM members recruit, train, advance, and retain skilled employees and provide policy makers with up-to-date information on current and future workforce trends in the manufacturing sector. Initiatives include building a comprehensive knowledge base and action agenda for good practices in workforce development with NAM affiliates, and expanding business leadership across the country to actively speak out and support policies that expand educational opportunities aimed at building a competitive U.S. workforce. The Center, along with the NAM, spearheads the national manufacturing careers campaign Dream It. Do It. designed to change outdated images of manufacturing and encourage young adults to consider modern manufacturing as a career option. The Center also sponsors, which prepares middle school youth for a technology-driven future by encouraging them to take more math and science.

Before establishing the CWS, Eisen lobbied for the NAM on a variety of business concerns as senior policy director.

Before coming to the NAM, Ms. Eisen was a consultant to the American Motor Vehicles Association and Mack Trucks. Prior to that position, she was vice president of the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C., an organization that pulled together diverse ethnic, business and labor groups around immigration and refugee concerns. She also taught in the public school system as a high school social studies and special education teacher for over a decade.

Ms. Eisen earned her undergraduate degree in political science and education at the University of Maryland in 1964 and pursued additional graduate work in public policy, political science and education at both George Washington University and the University of Maryland.

Ms. Eisen serves on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Education and the Economy, the Precision Manufacturing Association Foundation, and on the executive committee of the Washington, DC chapter of the Industrial Relations Research Association. She currently serves on the Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. She recently received the Harry S. Truman award for distinguished service from the American Association of Community Colleges. Ms. Eisen speaks across the country and in international forums on education and training policy and is regularly quoted in both the print and electronic media. She is a life-long resident of D.C.

Dr. James Jacobs is the Associate Director for Community College Operations at the Community College Research Center, and the Director of the Center for Workforce Development and Policy at Macomb Community College in Michigan.

Dr. Jacobs is a national expert on workforce development and community colleges. Currently, he is the Vice President for Partnerships and Collaborations for the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE), a national postsecondary organization of occupational education and workforce development specialists. For NCWE, he is one of the coordinators of the Breaking Through initiative, which links adult basic education to occupational programs at community colleges. He is on the National Advisory Board for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program of the United States Department of Commerce. Dr. Jacobs has conducted many specific examinations of community college programs at CCRC and for other organizations, such as the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation. He has also conducted major studies on the impact of new manufacturing technologies on skill requirements of firms both for the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor. He has authored several technical articles and papers in community college journals and has been a regular presenter at community college conferences and meetings. He is an editor of The Journal of Career and Technical Education.

Cheryl King serves as the Study Director for the National Commission on Adult Literacy, an independent, blue-ribbon board representing business, education, and government whose purpose is to advocate change and improve adult education and literacy services in America. Prior to working with the Commission, King held various positions in Kentucky state government including Commissioner, Kentucky Adult Education; and Deputy Secretary, Cabinet for Workforce Development. With the passage of the Adult Education Act in 2000, King was named Vice President, Kentucky Adult Education, with the Council on Postsecondary Education. In this role King led Kentucky‘s adult education system through a strategic reorganization effort that resulted in increased enrollment and GED completions and more adults transitioning to postsecondary education. King began her career as a classroom teacher and also served as a principal and district administrator for the Owensboro Public School District in Kentucky. She holds a doctorate in General Administrative Leadership from Vanderbilt University and resides in Owensboro, KY.

Thea Lee is Policy Director and Chief International Economist at the AFL-CIO, where she oversees research and strategies on domestic and international economic policy. Previously, she worked as an international trade economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. and as an editor at Dollars & Sense magazine in Boston. She received a Bachelors degree from Smith College and a Masters degree in economics from the University of Michigan. Ms. Lee is co-author of A Field Guide to the Global Economy, published by the New Press. Her research projects include reports on the North American Free Trade Agreement, on the impact of international trade on U.S . wage inequality, and on the domestic steel and textile industries. She has been named one of Washington’s top grassroots lobbyists by The Hill newspaper and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including the Lehrer News Hour; CNN; Good Morning America; NPR’s All Things Considered and Marketplace; and the PBS documentary, Commanding Heights. She has testified before several committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate on various trade topics. She serves on several advisory committees, including the State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and the Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Worker Rights Consortium and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Louis Soares is the Director of the Economic Mobility Program at the Center for American Progress. Louis brings more than 15 years of private, nonprofit and public sector experience. He has worked as a nonprofit director, educator, policy analyst, volunteer, and advocate across the fields of workforce, education, and economic development. A leader in workforce development and human capital issues, Louis has published articles and op-eds on workforce and innovation. Prior to joining the CAP, he served as Director of Business Development at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation where he managed Rhode Island‘s business attraction, export assistance, government contracting, and small business initiatives from 2003 to 2006. As Director of Education and Training for the Rhode Island Technology Council from 2000-2002, Louis developed and managed a workforce training strategy for a 240-member trade association, which included implementing education-business partnerships at the high school, college, and corporate levels to align with relevant workplace skills. He also was a small business consultant with the U.S. Peace Corps in Romania in 1995 and 1996. Louis brings to us expertise in state strategy and incentives for economic development, adult literacy, and workforce development. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from Brown University.