The CAEL team draws great strength from its varied set of backgrounds and skills. But we hold one very important quality in common: dedicated expertise in forging the connections between learning and work that adult learners—and their communities—depend on for social mobility and economic equity.
Senior Director, Initiatives
Ashley Wilhelm has a wealth of experience and an extensive network in workforce and economic development, and postsecondary education. She joined CAEL in 2022 as a Director of Initiatives, where she manages CAEL’s workforce & economic development projects focused on data analysis, targeted industry pathway development, and national/regional stakeholder engagement that maximizes client impact for adult learners. Wilhelm continuously collaborates with regional leadership to assist with project management of workforce initiatives.
Before CAEL, Wilhelm was a Program Manager at the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, serving as Director of the Governor's Workforce Development Board (Workforce Arizona Council), driving the state's economic development and workforce initiatives in partnership with national, state, and local associations, government officials, and businesses. Prior to that, she served on the Maricopa County Workforce Development Board for over two years as a Project Manager, leading high-profile initiatives, tracking program and partner success, and managing stakeholder engagement and communications. Wilhelm is also a former Program Manager with the Union County Board of Commissioners, supporting projects and engagement across state and local government agencies focused on community development, grant administration, and public policy efforts.
Wilhelm earned her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Oregon University and holds a Master of Public Administration from Grand Canyon University. She was part of the Greater Phoenix Workforce Leadership Academy Fellowship Program, a partnership between the Center for the Future of Arizona and the Aspen Institute, in 2021.
Areas of Expertise : Ashley has extensive experience in strategic planning, public policy, industry sector projects, community outreach and business engagement.