AUSTIN, Texas – Chadron State College student Yadira Gurrola of Scottsbluff, Neb., has been named to the first Working Learner Advisory Council assembled by the ACT Foundation to address the needs and challenges of working learners across the country.
Gurrola was also named Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month in March.
“The advisory council will serve as a direct voice for working learners and allow us to better assess the challenges this group faces,” said Parminder K. Jassal, founding executive director of the ACT Foundation.
Recognized as those who are engaged in some type of employment while also learning new skills in pursuit of greater economic security and overall life satisfaction, working learners represent a significant and fast growing portion of today’s American workforce.
“These are paid advisers who will have a major role in shaping our efforts to develop and improve real world solutions that meet their needs,” Jassal said.
Representing diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds from across the nation, the council consists of 12 working learners aged 19 to 29 who were nominated by colleagues and associates for their hard work, leadership, and commitment to personal development.
Other students on the council hail from Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Oregon and New Mexico. Gurrola is the sole member from Nebraska.
At their initial two-day meeting in early April, the group discussed challenges faced by working learners and ideas for improving education and training programs.
The council also provided valuable insight and guidance to ACT Foundation in the development of a “National Learning Economy,” which it defines as a system of active engagement in working and learning opportunities that fosters the acquisition of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors with the result in a more skilled, satisfied and qualified workforce.
In the coming year, the Working Learner Advisory Council will meet to address topics such as learning opportunities for low-income workers, life satisfaction and outcomes, the role of technology innovation in their lives, and work that is currently underway by the National Network of Business and Industry Associations.
They will also engage in digital storytelling projects designed to represent working learners to a broad audience. They will be joined by additional members recruited and selected in fall 2014.
ACT Foundation funds and develops strategic approaches to support working learners nationwide in their individual journeys toward successful careers and lives.
Based in Austin, Texas, ACT Foundation is a private, independent organization, endowed by ACT, a nonprofit public trust committed to helping people achieve educational and workplace success. More information about the organization can be found at actfdn.org.
—CSC Information Services
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