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Summer Intensive 2003
Effective Communication between ABE and WorkForce Centers
Pat Thomas, Marshall ABE

Background Reference:  One of the goals stated in the CFL funded Innovative Grant received by the Marshall ABE states that a process will be developed whereby an ABE consortia and a Welfare to Work (MFIP) Agency can more effectively communicate concerning common customers pertaining to skills and goals of said clients.

In 2000, all ABE programs and MIFP WorkForce providers were requested to develop an MOU – a Memorandum of Understanding.  In order to be eligible for continued state funding, this document was required of ABE agencies.  The intent of this document was to create a forum for co-existing ABE’s and MFIP providers to determine how their services could most effectively serve their common customer through collaborative efforts.  (Attachment A – example of an MOU)

As MFIP rules have changed and ABE programs continue to seek to deliver a more effective service to assist individuals in having the skills to obtain meaningful employment, revisiting the existing MOU may be warranted.

One of the key pieces of information within the MOU is identifying how information will be exchanged between agencies.  Included in this packet are 3 different forms created to share information in the Marshall area:

1.  Initial Referral Form completed by the client’s MFIP counselor

2. Assessment information Form to be completed by ABE staff and returned to the appropriate MFIP counselor within 2 weeks of the client entering an ABE program/class

3. Client Progress Form to be sent to the MFIP counselor following the initial 2 week assessment.  This form will be sent on a monthly or weekly basis as information changes or is needed by the MFIP counselor.

Although the examples of these forms may work in one area, other areas may want to create their own, or modify these examples, to reflect their situation and needs.

General Information

1.      Literacy Levels – Attachment B
   correlates ABE/ESL Levels to CASAS levels and Grade levels

2.      CASAS and Employability Assessment Char – Attachment C
   correlates CASAS scores and SPL level with
                work focused written description of:
                       -    Listening and speaking skills
                       -    Reading and writing skills
                       -    Employability possibilities

3.      Job Opportunities – Attachment D
   correlates CASAS scores with potentially
                successful job opportunities

4.      Words to Know -  Attachment E
   generic work focused word list
   This list of words could be requested to be a part of
                        employment focused ABE services.

Points to Consider

ABE and MFIP providers may want to consider # 3 and 4.  Each of these topics could be customized for a particular area.

Number 3 could be an even more effective tool if jobs available in an area could be identified with a CASAS score.

Number 4 could be enhanced by requesting critical words necessary for employment from potential employers.


1.  Initial Referral Form – Attachment F

-     This form would be completed by the client’s MFIP case manager.  This information is required by both agencies.  Using this form would reduce the time required by the student to register in the ABE program.

 2.  Assessment Information – Attachment G

-     This form would be completed and returned to the MFIP counselor with all assessment information and the MAESP (MN Employability Skills Profile)

 3.  Client Progress Report – Attachment H

-     This form would be completed monthly and given to the client’s WorkForce Counselor.  If any information changes or if information is warranted, this form may be requested more often by the MFIP counselor.

-     Indicators for additional attention may include:

-        Information on attendance or degree of active participation that would assist MFIP counselors in recognizing when a meeting is warranted.

-        Also, if the student has not achieved a level change after 100 hours of instruction, a meeting may be necessary.  (As a rule of thumb, CASAS gives 100 hours of instruction = Level change)

These forms are available in Microsoft Word format and Acrobat Reader format.  Click on the format that you want to download to your computer.

Word Format (.doc) Acrobat Reader Format (.pdf)

Workplan for MOU (Attachment A)

Workplan for MOU (Attachment A)
Literacy Levels (Attachment B) Literacy Levels (Attachment B)
CASAS and Employment (Attachment C) CASAS and Employment (Attachment C)
Job Opportunities (Attachment D) Job Opportunities (Attachment D)
Words to Know (Attachment E) Words to Know (Attachment E)
Initial Referral (Attachment F) Initial Referral (Attachment F)
Assessment Information (Attachment G) Assessment Information (Attachment G)
Client Progress Report (Attachment H) Client Progress Report (Attachment H)
Employability Skills Profile Employability Skills Profile

              Computerized Forms are being developed for ABE.
ABE Student Exit Form and the Client Progress Report Form are available as a computerized form that you can fill out with a computer. 

Click here to view and use the new computerized forms


Have a question or comment?


Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education