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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Talent Investment Agency introduces Adult Education 'Learn More, Earn More' Campaign

Helps Michiganders improve reading, writing, English, and math skills, and earning a high school diploma or equivalent

Contact: Stepheni Willis
Cell: 517-243-7423

LANSING, Mich. – Over 900,000 individuals in Michigan lack a high school diploma or equivalent or speak English less than very well.  On average, individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent earn over $6,000 more per year than those without one.
“Learn More, Earn More” – the new outreach campaign introduced by the Talent Investment Agency’s Adult Services section – is designed to inform Michiganders about available Adult Education programs and services which help individuals improve their reading, writing, English, and math skills, and earn a high school diploma or equivalent.  

A report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce found that 70 percent of the jobs in Michigan will require some level of postsecondary education by 2020, but, just 45 percent of Michigan workers in 2017 had a college degree or high-quality credential, according to the Lumina Foundation.  Adult Education is integral to ensuring workers are prepared for, and succeed in, the occupational training and post-secondary credential programs they need in order to fill the additional 15,000 high-wage, high-skill jobs that Michigan needs to fill every year until 2024.  

Michigan is only one of nine states in the country, and the only state in the Midwest, that hasn’t established a formal goal for post-secondary attainment.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in her State of the State address, announced a new statewide goal of increasing the number of Michiganders between the ages of 16 and 64 with a post-secondary credential to 60 percent by 2030.

“Adult Education lays the foundation for  workers to acquire a secondary credential and improve their basic skills in order to be successful in post-secondary education opportunities where they will learn the skills that are currently in demand, which benefits not only the workers and their families but also the state as a whole,” Stephanie Beckhorn, acting director of the Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan, said.  “A skilled workforce encourages businesses to stay, move into, or expand in Michigan.”

Approximately 44 percent of immigrants, over 18 years of age, come to the U.S. each year either lacking a high school education, not speaking English well enough to find good jobs and education opportunities, or both.  In Michigan, 21.1 percent of persons 25 years old and older, who speak a language other than English, do not have a high school diploma or equivalent compared to 7.9 percent of the population 25 and over who speak only English.

For decades, obtaining a General Educational Development (GED®) certificate was the only nationally recognized, and widely available, high school equivalency (HSE) option for Michigan residents, but now there are three different options to choose from. 

In addition to the GED®, the state is now offering the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC).  Like the GED®, both the HiSET and TASC are aligned to national college and career readiness standards and are also available in a computer-based format.

“Earning a high school equivalency certificate is critical to obtaining employment, or accessing further education and training,” Beckhorn said. “Adding these other options ensures that Michigan residents have as much choice and flexibility as possible when pursuing their high school equivalency credential.”
More information, as well as a comparison of all three options, is available via a fact sheet on the Talent Investment Agency website.

There are over 100 Adult Education programs statewide that provide a range of free or low-cost services and instruction may be available one-on-one, in a classroom setting, or online.  To explore which options are available near you, please contact your local Adult Education program.  A comprehensive list of local programs is available on the Talent Investment Agency website.

Please direct any questions about HSE testing options to the Talent Investment Agency’s Adult Services section at (517) 335-5858 or  More information about Adult Education programs and services is available on the Adult Education page of the TIA website.

About the Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
TIA is the agency that combines Michigan Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Development, and is responsible for their activities. Businesses need a talented workforce. Workers need the right skills to compete for available jobs. TIA programs are focused on job preparedness, career-based education, worker training, employment assistance and unemployment insurance. Please visit our website to see all that we offer.