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Advancing Equity: Empowering Workforce Boards to Expand Economic Opportunity


Advancing Equity

The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) and CAEL (The Council for Adult Experiential Learning) have joined forces to drive systemic change and create a future where economic opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or other characteristics. NAWB and CAEL recognize that addressing these systemic issues requires an action-oriented approach if we want to effect real change.

Our partnership is built upon a shared desire to take meaningful action by offering the Advancing Equity initiative, a comprehensive effort that prioritizes the development of a sustained capacity-building resource – The Advancing Equity Leadership Academy – to inform data-supported, equity-focused program development and policy change in the public workforce development field.


How We'll Get There: The Advancing Equity Master Class

In addition to combining our expertise and connections to achieve our goal of creating a practitioner-informed, equity-focused resource for the field, NAWB and CAEL are convening a select cohort of high-performing senior workforce board leaders to aid in the development of the Advancing Equity Leadership Academy, while expanding their capacity to serve as thought leaders and change agents across the field around equity issues in the workforce development system. This “Master Class” will help to identify and develop best practices, promising strategies, tools, and resources that can be adopted or adapted to support capacity building across workforce boards to implement equity-focused initiatives through the Equity Leadership Academy. In addition, NAWB and CAEL will raise the visibility of engagement around equity as part of a comprehensive approach to developing a highly skilled, globally competitive workforce.

The Advancing Equity Leadership Academy

The Advancing Equity Leadership Academy will engage any workforce board leaders or staff who are dedicated to making a difference and creating lasting, equity-focused impact in their communities. The Academy will cover several key strategic topics, including:

  • Equitable access to public workforce system services
  • Engaging, elevating, and activating participant voice
  • Addressing equity in postsecondary education 
  • Equity and strategic communications in today’s context 
  • Equity, funding, and performance benchmarking
  • Equity and local and national policy
  • Equitable outcomes and purposeful data disaggregation

*Applications were accepted through October 9, 2023


The benefits of participating in this interactive, action-focused series include: 

  • Access to a transformative learning experience: Immerse yourself in a comprehensive series designed to deepen your understanding of equity principles and analysis, and equip you with practical skills for driving change.
  • Networking and collaboration: Connect with a select group of peer leaders who share your passion for advancing equity. Collaborate, exchange ideas, and build lasting relationships with like-minded professionals.
  • Take action toolkits and coaching: Tools, best practices, and resources provide you with the practical tools and guidance you need to enact real change in real time, while our network of content experts will help you customize your equity-focused initiatives for your local community.  
  • Recognition and impact: Enhance your professional profile and gain recognition as an equity leader. Empower yourself to create real change and contribute to the development of equitable opportunities for all.
  • Exclusive opportunity: NAWB and CAEL are co-investing to support the participation of an initial cohort of workforce board leaders. Increase your capacity to advance equity and seize the chance to shape a more inclusive future.

By participating in the Advancing Equity Leadership Academy, workforce board leaders will increase their equity knowledge and skills and expand their equity impact by: 

  • Conducting an equity-focused analysis to determine the program and policy strategies to more equitably serve diverse populations in their communities.  
  • Designing an implementation-ready, customized action plan for an equity-focused initiative in their community to achieve better outcomes for these diverse populations.
  • Leverage their unique position as a trusted partner and neutral broker to both the business community, postsecondary education and training providers, and other stakeholders to coordinate a unified and robust equity-focused strategy that sets the stage for more inclusive growth.

The inaugural Advancing Equity Leadership Academy launched in November 2023 and extends through April 2024, with both virtual and in-person sessions designed for hard-working professionals. Applications were accepted through October 9, 2023.  For more information, contact advancingequity@cael.org

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