An estimated 500,000 adults in Chicago have low basic skills and would benefit from adult literacy and/or adult basic education services.

In 2012, the Program International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC) include link study shed light on this issue when it showed that U.S. adults scored below the international average in all three domains that were evaluated (literacy, numeracy and digital problem-solving). A closer look at PIACC reveals:

  • Most Are Underemployed – 63 percent of U.S. adults with low skill levels are employed, but earn low wages and lack the skills necessary to go to college or advance in their careers.
  • The U.S. Lags Behind in Digital Literacy, Problem Solving – American adults performed below the international average when it came to using digital technology to acquire and evaluate information, communicate with others, and perform practical tasks.
  • Adults with lower levels of skills in literacy are more likely to report having fair to poor health than those with higher proficiency, even when account is taken of education attainment and other background characteristics.

CCLC addresses the above statistics by advocating for adult education services and providing programming in health literacy, digital literacy and career pathways programming.