DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- This weekend members of the Illinois Community College Board met to discuss adult education literacy programs in the state. The need for adult education programs is growing in Illinois.

"Adult education is important because in Illinois," Deputy Director of workforce education Whitney Thompson said. "One million Illinoisans lack a 12th grade education, so we know the jobs of today require a high school diploma  and 65 percent require post secondary education."

The programming in the state offers adults basic education courses that can help get a high school diploma and can move them onto post secondary planning.

"In adult education we have a variety of different programs geared for workforce preparation," Deputy Executive Director of the community board Jennifer Foster said. "One is are integrated training session program which is a blend of basic skills. We combine that with training in order to accelerate the time of completion. The quicker we can get them trained and in the workforce the quicker they will be able to make family sustaining wages."

Members on the college board hope more adults join the program this year and use it as a pathway to a better career.

"For every dollar invested in adult education, the return on investment is two and a half dollars because that means more educated people in educated communities which means more self sustaining wages," Thompson said. "Our programs are ready to serve individuals and we're excited to see the work they're contributing to Illinois."

Adult education and family literacy week starts Sunday and runs until September 25th.

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