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Join us in New Orleans from November 3 to 5, 2020 for our annual CAEL Conference

Brian Sorenson

Recent Posts


CAEL President Marie A. Cini Discusses the New Normal College Student

Posted by Brian Sorenson on May 23, 2019 2:44:40 PM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning, Employee Training, Adult Learning Success, Skills Gap

Is it obvious to most observers that the way college is depicted on the silver screen is only a pale imitation of what higher education truly offers to learners, especially when it comes to so-called nontraditional students? (Think: Melissa McCarthy's character in the 2018 comedy "Life of the Party.") Hollywood continues to perpetuate the enduring perception that college is still merely a haven for young people to let loose, and that narrative comes at the expense of a rising tide with more and more adult students. We need to stop thinking of these students as fish out of water and realize that they represent the new normal of higher education.

CAEL President Marie A. Cini is responding to that narrative with one of her own.


Amazon's HQ2: A Lesson in Skills Gaps

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jan 29, 2019 9:33:00 AM

Topics: Workforce Development, Talent Management, Employee Training, Skills Gap

Amazon announced its choices for the coveted HQ2 locations more than two months ago, and the decision continues to elicit commentary nationwide. Of course, given everything at stake—Amazon says it will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 new jobs across the two locations—it’s no surprise that the decision continues to be a topic of discussion.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attributed his company’s decision to open its additional headquarters in Northern Virginia and New York City to the supply of “world-class talent” in both areas. Framed that way, it’s easy to see how leaders in other communities—not just those that were in the running for HQ2, but also those that have future aspirations to invite such economic development to their regions—could come away from Amazon’s decision second-guessing their own talent pipelines.

If economic heavyweights like Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas failed to win over Amazon, how are other communities to compete?


New Study Examines Impact of Underemployment

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jun 18, 2018 10:37:02 AM

Topics: Workforce Development, Talent Management, Employee Motivation

Underemployment is commonly thought of as a short-term issue for recent college graduates who, after gaining some experience in a position they’re overqualified for, soon move on to careers befitting their qualifications. Unfortunately, underemployment can be a far more harmful, longer-lasting issue than is commonly recognized. 


Building a Workforce Strategy in Northeast Florida

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jun 5, 2018 11:24:01 AM

Topics: Workforce Development, Success Stories, Recruiting Talent, Sector Partnerships

Since February, CAEL has been a consultant on a project to develop and implement a strategy to encourage positive economic and job growth in northeast Florida, and to enhance the region’s brand. This initiative, Elevate Northeast Florida, is aimed at reaching the following regional goals:

  • Economic growth: Elevate Northeast Florida will lead to increased economic growth in the region by identifying and capitalizing on regional and county-specific assets.
  • Talent development: Elevate Northeast Florida will lead to a more competitive talent pool and increased employment by connecting residents to jobs, especially in target industries.
  • Brand recognition: Elevate Northeast Florida will result in a marketing and branding campaign that raises awareness of the region’s assets to U.S. and international audiences.
  • Global competitiveness: Elevate Northeast Florida will lead to enhanced global competitiveness by focusing on strategic investments across the region.
    Source: ElevateNeFL.com

We recently spoke with JAXUSA Partnership’s Vice President of Education and Workforce Development, Tina Wirth, about the initiative and how JAXUSA has worked to bolster economic development throughout northeast Florida.


How Can Higher Ed Better Serve Adults? Our March 29 Webinar May Have an Answer

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Mar 19, 2018 9:30:24 AM

Topics: Adult Learner 360, Webinar

Since it was first offered, Adult Learner 360 has helped higher education institutions nationwide assess, implement and revise strategies for meeting the needs of adults--a rapidly growing population of students that colleges and universities can ill afford to ignore.


The CAEL Forum and News Editorial Board is Seeking Article Proposals

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Feb 15, 2018 2:01:10 PM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Knowledge Transfer, CAEL Members

The CAEL Forum and News publishes one print issue per year and the Forum and News Editorial Board is now seeking article proposals for the 2018 print issue, which will be published in late Fall 2018. The focus of this issue will be three of CAEL’s Ten Principles for Effectively Serving Adult Learners.


How CAEL is Putting Prior Learning Assessment to Work in Philadelphia

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Feb 14, 2018 10:58:38 AM

Topics: Workforce Development, Prior Learning Assessments (PLA)

CAEL has been working with Philadelphia Works to develop a prior learning assessment (PLA) strategy with partner the Community College of Philadelphia. PLA, which encourages student completion toward a degree or credential by granting credit for demonstrated college-level knowledge or skills, can be an effective tool for upskilling a workforce. CAEL recently spoke with Sue Hoffman, Senior Associate of Innovation at Philadelphia Works, to learn more about how this project will help Philadelphia’s workforce. 


New Year, New Attitudes about Careers

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jan 26, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Topics: Employee Engagement, PathSavvy

A new report offers insight into the rapidly evolving employee expectations of how a career should be defined and what it should offer. The eye-opening insights can inform a deeper conversation on how employers can foster a workplace environment that encourages employee satisfaction and engagement–a conversation CAEL has been leading with the career pathing solution PathSavvy and advising resource CareerSavvy


CAEL 2018 International Conference Call for Proposals

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jan 16, 2018 3:32:27 PM

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, CAEL News

CAEL seeks presenters for the CAEL 2018 International Conference. We invite submissions that expand the understanding of how to best support adult and other underserved learners, and the rapidly evolving workforce, to help them reach educational and professional development goals. The submission deadline is March 31, 2018.


Free CAEL Member Webinar: Drive Economic Growth with Workforce Alignment

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Oct 6, 2017 1:28:36 PM

Topics: Workforce Development, CAEL Members, Webinar

As communities work to differentiate themselves in a competitive global economy, alignment between economic and workforce development is essential. Successful communities, urban or rural, large or small, are proactively building this workforce alignment through a coordinated, systematic approach that helps to drive economic growth.