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Our Work

Industry Partnerships & Education and Career Pathways

How We Partner

Industry partnership bring together industry representatives and other partners to meet the needs of employers, employees, and candidates for employment. They benefit from information provided by, actions taken by, and investments made by industry that are strongly connected with those of other partners. A key result is equitable career pathways aligned with industry priorities.

Career pathways are not linear, one-way streets. They are individual journeys in progress that, together, weave the tapestry of our nation’s most critical resource: the workforce. These pathways can sustain equitable economic mobility, but only if they entail access to on- and off-ramps that adult learners and workers can navigate with clarity and confidence. But CAEL cannot do this work alone. 

Developing these pathways requires coordination at every phase of the education-employment cycle. From apprenticeships to CPL, industry partnerships connect academic advancement and on-the-job experience, present and past. Only such partnerships, which include educators, trainers, employers, and workforce developers, can vet, validate, and encourage recognition of credentials to ensure they align with rewarding occupations in growth for in-demand industries, and that there are supportive private and public sector policies and practices. 

These links are crucial to mapping career pathways that sustain equitable economic mobility.

CAEL’s industry partnerships provide the following:

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Empower individuals to assess skills and interests


Develop personalized pathways aligned with individual interests and in-demand employment

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Provide services that meet industry and individual needs related to career pathway progress

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Establish and maintain policies and practices that support success


Create access to the education and training needed for successful progress toward goals

In a rapidly evolving employment landscape, such pathways must be flexible and affordable. Our pathways solutions not only accelerate opportunities to build new competencies, but also integrate prior learning and work experiences to shorten the distance to personal, professional, and educational goals.

This work to connect adult workers and learners to higher wages and career advancement spans the following industries and more:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Finance and insurance
  • Energy
  • Healthcare & BioScience
  • Information Technology
  • PetroChemical
  • Retail and Accommodation
  • Semiconductor
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation and Logistics

Examples of CAEL initiatives include:

Whether bringing stakeholders together for the first time, managing partnerships or enhancing them, CAEL catalyzes constructive collaboration among stakeholders who invest in, educate, provide services to, and/or employ adult learners/workers, and who work to bring about improved systems outcomes on their behalf. CAEL often engages with partners in an ecosystem approach, allowing the multiplier effect of strategically coordinated stakeholders to benefit entire regions. CAEL’s large membership and strong relationship with clients is a significant success factor. Our work with our partners is designed so that we all can succeed!

For example, CAEL is working with a Fortune 500 company and its suppliers to build career pathways and provide training to upskill and develop the suppliers' current workforce. The program provides relevant training opportunities for suppliers' employees and utilizes training providers for their expertise and management capabilities. This effort will assist in retaining staff and creating upward mobility for their current workforce to support current and upcoming needs in the supply chain.

CAEL also leads the Build Better Careers initiative, launched in 2022 with support from the Truist Foundation, which develops partnerships among industry leaders, workforce development, and postsecondary education providers in the financial services sector. The initiative seeks to better map and develop connected and supported career pathways to create talent pipelines; hire, retain, and advance more people of color and women in the industry; and promote systems change through enhanced funding and policies that expand employment opportunities in the sector. Implemented in 5 regions across the southeast, Build Better Careers has launched in Charlotte, Memphis, and South Florida. Regional partners include the University of Memphis, the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, Charlotte Works, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont; Career Source South Florida, and OIC of South Florida. Our national partners include CAREERWORK$, CollegeApp, PAIRIN, Riipen, and Lightcast.

Two examples of long-established CAEL industry-education partnerships are EPCE and NACTEL