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CAEL Pathways Blog

Intersect With Earl August 2023

Awareness continues to grow about the ability of apprenticeships to accelerate inclusive access to rewarding career pathways. But, like all education and training that seeks alignment with workforce needs, strategic coordination is key. Below are some recent developments in both of these areas, along with some recent and upcoming events, new CAEL research, and much more.

Today an apprenticeship, tomorrow a baccalaureate: Apprenticeships go a long way in leveling the playing field for diverse adult learners and workers, which is why I am proud to serve on the board of directors at Apprenticeships for America, which my CAEL colleague Rachel Hirsch also supports as a member of its Advisory Council. AFA is truly a natural fit within CAELs strategic partnership work. Thanks to developing technical skills and training needed to access rewarding careers, many apprentices have no need or desire to pursue a traditional college pathway. However, others will. Thats the whole point of serving adult learners: maintaining the agility to meet them where they are, which will usually be a different place tomorrow than it is today. One recent example of how apprenticeships can fit into a wider view of the education-employment ecosystem is in Rhode Island. A new state college policy there requires apprenticeship credit to be applicable toward a bachelors degree.

Theres no overstating the importance of strategic workforce partnerships in solving unemployment and underemployment. In Florida, United Way Miami has launched UpSkill Miami to encourage such partnerships. The workforce development investment fund is centered around strategic collaboration and will bring education and training providers and employers together to connect underserved populations with growth occupations. 

CAEL member mention: Southern University is partnering with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana to plan the second Louisiana Rural and Economic Development Summit, reviving after a 2019 debut that preceded a pandemic-driven pause of the annual event. The summit extends the benefits of strategic partnerships to rural economic development. Open to representatives from all niches of the states education-employment ecosystem, it will cover topics such as workforce development, job training programs and initiatives, and grant funding and how to navigate the grants process.

On Aug 7 and 8, CAEL conducted a free regional convening on SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) programs in the community college setting. The event took place in Madison, Wisconsin. We are in the process of building a coalition of up to 80 community colleges as part of this U.S. Department of Agriculture- funded, three-year program, and I appreciate the hard work of Le'Shay Guy, Jeannie McCarron and Matt Waltz in making it happen.

In case you missed it: CAELs latest report How They Pay: The Voices of Adult Learners on College Affordability, and How Institutions Are Responding takes a deep dive into the experiences of adult learners as they finance their education. Based on a national survey and individual interviews, its packed with insight direct from adult learners.

Grant opportunity: The Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program (Recompete Pilot Program) is a $200 million program from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) that aims to alleviate persistent economic distress and support long-term, comprehensive economic development and job creation in places with a high employment gap for adults ages 25 to 54. Projects can include workforce development, economic development, entrepreneurship support, and other planning and technical assistance. Phase 1 planning grant applications are due October 5, 2023.  If you or a partnership network you are working with would like to explore how your CAEL membership and our shared mission to improve the education attainment rate of adult learners can be enhanced with an EDA partnership or project, please contact cgaetano@cael.org

Interested in learning more about CAEL memberships? Please visit us, and always feel free to contact us with questions or comments on any topic at cael@cael.org.

Additional Reading


Colorado Community College System offering state-funded training to prepare learners for success in industries facing worker shortages

Walmart continues funding competency-based recruiting

New tool, $6.3 million to help revolutionize apprenticeships, workforce engagement in Kansas

Free workforce development forums are bringing employers and educators together throughout Wisconsin

Industry and academia co-creating the future focus of American Society for Engineering Education conference

Snohomish County recovery strategy hinges on workforce development, employment pathways

Just getting started: educating older adults increasingly important to New Mexico economy

Report urges policy moves to foster work-based learning

Workforce-aligned learning attracting more K-12 grant funding

Department of Labor awards nearly $17M to expand use of registered apprenticeships in education, clean energy, other critical industries

Apprenticeship degrees a welcome import

Child care cliff threatens U.S. Workforce Hub

Colleges have critical role in helping veterans navigate education benefits

How swapping seat time for CBE can boost K-12 equity

More major companies embracing ed benefits

Employees with tuition benefits more likely to feel valued - by an 81-58% margin

Training funds: Pa. companies can receive up to $40K per employee working on state infrastructure projects

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