Job Service Great Falls education program partnership receives national recognition

  • February 18, 2021 @12:44 PM

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) today announced that the Connections 101 program has been recognized as an innovative practice in adult education by the U.S. Department of Education’s Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project.

“Innovations in adult education are critical to opening the doors of greater opportunity for Montanans,” said DLI Commissioner Laurie Esau. “Through programs like Connections 101, the Montana Department of Labor & Industry is committed to helping Montanans gain the knowledge and skills they need to pursue in-demand job training, further succeed in their career paths, and achieve the American dream.”

Connections 101 is a 14-week program that provides adult learners with a framework to develop and build their academic knowledge, technical expertise, and self-management skills. The no-cost program is jointly implemented by the Job Service Great Falls, Great Falls Public Schools Career and College Readiness Center and Great Falls College-MSU.

“Connections 101 is a successful model because of these partnerships at the college and state level,” said Job Service Great Falls Manager Beth Schmidt. “The key is keeping each individual student at the center of what we do, having open conversations about each participant’s career goals, and collaborating and respecting what each involved organization brings to the program.”

Job Service Great Falls workforce consultants provide Connections 101 participants with classroom education on resumes and cover letter writing, interviewing techniques, employment regulations, customer service essentials, and OSHA 10 General certification. Job Service staff also connect students to employers for work-based learning opportunities such as job shadowing, internships and pathways into the Pre-Apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship programs.

The Advancing Innovation in Adult Education Project, within the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, seeks to identify adult education programs that are advancing the field of adult education to help learners develop knowledge and skills, gain secondary credentials and transition to further education and employment. Local programs recognized by the project receive national recognition and are included in showcase events and presentations.

For more information on the Connections 101 program, visit or contact Job Service Great Falls at (406) 791-5800 or

Contact Sam Loveridge: Public Information Officer, Department of Labor and Industry
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