The Rethink Adult Ed Challenge (the Challenge) is a $750,000 competition to advance pre-apprenticeships. The Department invites eligible providers to design pre-apprenticeship programs that better prepare learners for apprenticeships and to succeed in their chosen professions.
Apprenticeships serve as an important pathway to well-paying careers across a range of industries, such as manufacturing, construction, technology, and healthcare. However, many adults miss out on these opportunities because they are not aware of apprenticeship programs or do not have the necessary skills to prepare for or gain entry to them.
Pre-apprenticeships bridge this gap by equipping people with the skills and knowledge they need to gain entry to, and succeed in, apprenticeships. Pre-apprenticeship program participants learn academic skills, time management skills, technology skills, and conflict management skills. Participants may also learn industry-specific skills, such as how to use relevant tools and machinery. Programs may also include distance learning and artificial intelligence, so they may go to scale and serve a larger population of students.
The Challenge aims to spur the creation of new pre-apprenticeship programs and increase the capacity of adult education providers to deliver high-quality programs. The Challenge will be conducted in two stages:
- Stage 1 Open submissions (September 24, 2020 – November 25, 2020)
During Stage 1, eligible providers will enter the Challenge by completing a Stage 1 submission (a Preliminary Design) on the Challenge website. Up to 100 entrants will be selected as finalists to progress to Stage 2.
- Stage 2 Virtual accelerator (February 2021 – July 2021)
During Stage 2, finalists will participate in a virtual accelerator, through which they will have access to a range of digital resources — such as case studies, activities, and webinars with subject matter experts. Finalists will then be invited to submit a Stage 2 submission (a Program Proposal). A judging panel will select a grand-prize winner that will receive $250,000 and up to five runners-up that will receive at least $100,000 each.
At the end of the Rethink Adult Ed Challenge, the resources and materials from Stage 2 will be formatted and published online for public distribution.
Total Cash Prize Pool
The challenge offers a $750,000 prize pool.
At the end of Stage 2, a grand-prize winner will receive $250,000, and up to five runners-up will receive at least $100,000 each. Any potential prizes awarded under this challenge will be paid by electronic funds transfer. Award recipients will be responsible for any applicable local, State, and Federal taxes and reporting that may be required under applicable tax laws.
Up to 100 finalists will be invited to participate in the Stage 2 virtual accelerator, where they will have access to a range of digital resources, such as case studies, activities, and webinars with subject matter experts.