Intersect With Earl January 2024
by Earl Buford on Jan 31, 2024
The faster the education and employment landscape changes, the greater value strategic partnerships offer in helping learners and workers keep their footing. This is evident in Great Lakes ReNEW, a six-state, 10-year, grant funded collaboration comprised of CAEL and several other partners. The project focuses on innovative resource recovery, a priority that demands a skilled water-tech talent pipeline. As a career pathways development partner to the Great Lakes ReNEW, CAEL will foster continual alignment among workforce development organizations, educators, and trainers. It will also engage local and regional employers to support their efforts to hire, retain, and advance workers, especially those most affected by joblessness and systemic barriers.
The need for strategic partnerships only grows at the broader level of the overall tech workforce, which is at the epicenter of an AI revolution that is reverberating well beyond it. In a move to help workers and learners access AI-related education, including experiential workshops and career and technical education, Microsoft recently announced a sweeping partnership with the AFL-CIO dedicated to “AI and the future of the workforce.”
Thanks to our own strategic partnership with The Graduate! Network, the CAEL community has access to new data-informed resources for supporting adult learners and workers, including Bridging The Talent Gap. My colleagues Doug Heckman and Bridgett Strickler, along with partners from One Acadiana and MacLaff Inc., recently presented a case study on Bridging The Talent Gap at, appropriately enough, the Talent Hubs Annual Convening in Mobile, Alabama. The event is one of the largest devoted to local, regional, and state-level cross-sector partnerships and is attended by leaders and practitioners from higher education, philanthropy, workforce agencies, economic development, government, and more.
Also in Alabama, the Talent Triad, a new statewide learning ecosystem, is yet another example that strategic partnerships are the future for serving adult learners and workers. The Talent Triad engages education and training providers, students, employers, and employees through a skills-based portal that connects jobseekers with open positions.
The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 promises to bolster U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, improving not only our supply chain but national security. But as we’ve noted, the immense upside of its job creation will only be fully realized if we have the workers to fill them. A new report from the Brookings Institution outlines what it calls “the underdiscussed and sometimes indistinct workforce programs included in the CHIPS and Science Act.”
Grant opportunity: The Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants (SPECA) program “seeks to: (a) promote and strengthen secondary education and two-year postsecondary education in the food and agriculture sciences in order to help ensure the existence of a workforce in the United States that's qualified to serve the food and agriculture sciences system; and (b) promote complementary and synergistic linkages among secondary, two-year postsecondary, and higher education programs in the food and agriculture sciences in order to advance excellence in education and encourage more young Americans to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the food and agriculture sciences.” Apply by March 8.
CAEL member mention: Congratulations to our fellow Strada Collaborative member InsideTrack for the great success of its California Reconnect pilot phase, which helped seven campuses, including CAEL member Mesa College, collectively outperform national renrollment rates by a factor of four.