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CAEL Newsroom

SkillsFWD expands inaugural cohort to further advance skills-based hiring


As posted by SkillsFWD

Today SkillsFWD announced the addition of two new projects to its inaugural cohort of grantees. The projects are based in Indiana, led by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, led by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).

These new grantees are positioned to scale quickly and bring strong track records of employer and user engagement, advanced technology solutions and well-developed regional partnerships. Each project is focused on developing learning and employment record (LER) ecosystems for industries with high demand for skilled workers, including healthcare, IT, finance and manufacturing.

  • The Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s project, Scaling a Statewide LER Ecosystem in Indiana to Advance Skills-Based Hiring and Economic Mobility for All Hoosiers, will determine how to sustain and scale a comprehensive LER ecosystem that provides the human capital needed to drive a robust, forward-leaning economy. It will leverage public-private partnerships with the business community, education and training providers, state and local government, and technology innovators.

  • CAEL’s project, Pittsburgh Regional Upskilling Alliance’s LER Initiative, will create an end-to-end LER solution that connects the learner journey from initial engagement through credential attainment to fulfilling employment. It will inform and catalyze talent development strategies to bridge the gap between talent and employers in the region.

"We are thrilled to welcome these new projects that will advance SkillsFWD’s mission and the skills-first movement overall,” said Dawn Karber, SkillsFWD's director. “By aligning education and training more closely with in-demand skills, the teams in Indiana and Pittsburgh are enhancing economic opportunities for individuals and meeting the urgent needs of our economy.”

Both projects bring strong cross-industry partnerships to the table. CAEL partners with Vibrant Pittsburgh, Literacy Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh ScholarHouse, as well as BankWorks and Apprenti, two local employers in the finance industry. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education partners with postsecondary institutions, including Western Governors University, Perdue University and Ivy Tech Community College. The Indiana project works with IQ4 for its technology needs and the Pittsburgh project works with SmartResume

The addition of these two projects comes at a critical juncture. While many employers have announced a shift to skills-based hiring, few have made meaningful progress. Despite slow adoption, there are many promising signs for the future — a recent survey of 500 medium-to-large-sized companies in the U.S., 91% of hiring managers using skills-based hiring report expanding their talent pool and 82% report that skills-based hiring surfaced more motivated candidates.

SkillsFWD’s grantees play an important role in establishing new models to provide employers, learners and earners with the tools and support needed to scale the benefits that skills-based hiring has to offer.