Increasing Opportunities in Appalachia -The AEW Network Blog

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Increasing Opportunities in Appalachia is a blog written jointly by IEL staff and local practitioners whose work provides post-high school education and training opportunities in the region. The blog shines a light on successful initiatives and provides readers with information about implementation challenges. For readers interested in learning more about the opportunity being highlighted, information on how to contact the “actors” is also provided.


Promoting “Closer Encounters” Between Education And Workforce

IEL Blog by Betty Hale and Sarah McCann – 1/27/2020
TThe need for increased collaboration is a primary theme across nearly all recommendations for resolving the workforce challenges facing rural places and organizations. READ MORE…


West Virginia’s Innovation In Career And Technical Education: The Simulated Workplace Program

IEL Blog by Sarah McCann and Betty Hale – 11/1/2019
Through its Simulated Workplace Program (SWP), West Virginia is changing the culture of career and technical education (CTE), changing the way students learn at school and gain work experience, and simultaneously helping to meet the demand for skilled labor in the state. READ MORE…


A technical instructor explains carpentry concepts to two apprentices.Appalachia Seeks Improved Education-Workforce Collaboration

IEL Blog by John White and Betty Hale – 10/10/2019
Many challenges have contributed to the hollowing out of rural communities and the economic decline of distant towns in Appalachia and other rural areas throughout the nation. Revitalization depends on increasing the education and skill levels attained by rural youth and adults to develop a more robust and resilient workforce prepared to meet the demands of today’s economy. There is so much more education systems, the workforce system and employers can do—working in partnership—to be catalysts for the renewal of rural communities and economies. READ MORE…

Owsley County high school students’, their English teacher, and local artist Judy Sizemore stage a production of Homesong, a musical revue giving voice to the community.Engaging, Empowering, And Inspiring Students And Parents In Appalachia

IEL Blog by Elaine Weiss, former National Coordinator of the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education – 6/20/2019
In Eastern Kentucky, a key objective of Partners for Education (PfE), a non-profit organization housed at Berea College, is to educate the children growing up there about their rich cultural heritage. Instilling in them a sense of their history is, PfE believes, foundational to its goal of raising children who are prepared for post-high school education and training – at Berea or at other post-secondary institutions – and to grow into productive, thriving adults… READ MORE…


A group of Appalachian Higher Education Network annual conference attendees post around conference signage.Strengthening Postsecondary Education Attainment in Appalachia

IEL Blog – July 6, 2016
Over the past decade, more and more first-generation students in Appalachia are attending two- and four-year colleges and universities, participating in certificate programs, and joining the military. A key driver of this progress is the Appalachian Higher Education Network, a peer learning network of regional program and information centers supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The centers provide supports focused on high school transition and postsecondary success. READ MORE…

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