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Expanding Economic Opportunity and Economic Competitiveness for Delta Residents and Employers

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a nonprofit organization that helps adult learners navigate on- and off-ramps between education and employment, is leading a partnership including two of its community colleges members – Arkansas State University Mid-South (ASU Mid-South) and Coahoma Community College (CCC), local workforce development board partners – the Workforce Development Board of Eastern Arkansas and the Delta Workforce Development Area Board, and regional employers to align education and employment and better serve adult learners and other underrepresented students in the Mississippi River Delta region.

The Advancing Delta Talent (ADT) initiative will focus on improving equitable economic opportunity in seven persistent-poverty counties within Arkansas and Mississippi. Working closely with ASU Mid-South and CCC, CAEL is fostering skills development through “stackable” college-issued and industry-based credentials, along with employability skills training through the National Career Readiness Certificate.

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Key Industry Sectors:

  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Health Care
  • Manufacturing


Career Pathway Programs:

  • Automotive and Diesel Technology
  • Collision Repair Technology
  • Truck Driving
  • EMT
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Paramedic
  • Welding


Project Goals

  • Offering training for adult learners and others in high-demand industry sectors
  • Providing employment and work-based learning opportunities
  • Providing comprehensive support services
  • Providing implementation support to help colleges better serve adult learners


Target Populations

  • Economically disadvantaged Delta residents
  • People of Color
  • Veterans and their spouses
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals (or those nearing release)
  • Youth (high school students without a career plan)


CAEL's Advancing Delta Talent Initiative

Gloria Mwase, senior vice president for partnerships, research, impact, and innovation, provides an in-depth overview of CAEL's work in the Delta region with the Advancing Delta Talent initiative: Expanding Economic Opportunity and Economic Competitiveness for Delta Residents and Employers.

Anticipated Outcomes

Read our article in The Evolllution about how CAEL’s New Peer Matching Membership Program Debuts with the Advancing Delta Talent Partnership

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When Impact Meets Reality

CAEL's manager of initiatives shares his inspirational experience witnessing first-hand the impact the Advancing Delta Talent initiative is creating.

Read more

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The Road Ahead: How Advancing Delta Talent Partners Are Training the Next Generation of Commercial Drivers

Read about how CAEL’s U.S. Department of Labor-funded initiative supports equitable economic mobility through better access to training for critical transportation jobs. 

Read more

For more information about this initiative, contact Monique Tuset via email at mtuset@cael.org.

This project was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)'s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). It was created by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and does not necessarily reflect the official position of DOL/ETA. DOL/ETA makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. CAEL received a U.S. DOL grant of $1,394,534 to implement this project (100% of total budget).