Partnership Will Feature Advancing Equity Leadership Academy Dedicated to Expanding Economic Opportunity in the Public Workforce Development Field
INDIANAPOLIS – CAEL (the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning), a nonprofit organization that helps adult learners navigate on- and off-ramps between education and employment, is partnering with the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) to create the Advancing Equity initiative. Advancing Equity is dedicated to addressing the urgent issue of racial, gender, and other disparities in employment, career progression, and economic growth. The cornerstone of the partnership is a strategy for scaling principles and best practices to ensure they translate to significant, sustainable, and tangible improvements in workforce equity.
"Based on NAWB's Race Equity Survey and feedback from local workforce boards, there are unprecedented opportunities to advance structural improvements in our system that are only possible within an inclusive model of economic participation," said Jennifer Harris, chair of NAWB Board of Directors. "CAEL and NAWB recognize that supporting system progress is an ethical and economic imperative and requires both awareness and decisive action."
CAEL and NAWB will pilot the Advancing Equity Leadership Academy this fall to catalyze such action. Progressing principles to practice will define the Academy experience, which will center on equity-focused community impact initiatives aligned with real-world workforce board applications.
To sustain a constructive culture of co-learning, the Academy will emphasize continual networking and collaboration. Participants will connect with like-minded but diverse peer leaders who share their passion for advancing equity within the workforce development field. Drawing upon the combined expertise and national networks of CAEL and NAWB, Academy facilitators will provide take-action toolkits and customized guidance for enacting real change in real time within local communities.
“We are designing the Academy by engaging a ‘Master Class’ of high-impact workforce board leaders who will help us to apply an equity mindset to developing holistic strategies and resources needed to advance a highly skilled, globally competitive workforce,” said Earl Buford, president of CAEL. “This capacity-building experience will expand the thought leaders and change agents working to identify new opportunities for progress in the countless spaces where issues of equity and workforce development intersect.”
Members of workforce board leadership and staff nationwide are invited to participate in the Advancing Equity Leadership Academy. The inaugural Academy launches in November 2023 and will run through April 2024. To accommodate working professionals, the Academy will combine virtual and in-person engagement.
About CAEL Recognizing that adult learners are the backbone of the U.S. economy, CAEL helps forge a clear, viable connection between education and career success, providing solutions that promote sustainable and equitable economic growth. CAEL opens opportunities in collaboration with workforce and economic developers; postsecondary educators; employers and industry groups; and foundations and other mission-aligned organizations. Engaging with these stakeholders fosters a culture of innovative, lifelong learning that helps individuals and their communities thrive. A membership organization established in 1974, CAEL is a part of Strada Collaborative, a mission-driven nonprofit. Learn more at www.cael.org and www.stradacollaborative.org.
About National Associate of Workforce Boards NAWB represents and advocates for the nation's over 570 Workforce Development Boards, which coordinate with education and economic development stakeholders to administer regional workforce programs which meet the needs of job seekers, career-seekers, businesses, and communities. For more information on NAWB’s latest work and new initiatives, please visit www.nawb.org.