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Linking Public Workforce Systems and Community Colleges through Prior Learning Assessment: Learnings from a National Pilot Project

This paper provides an overview of why partnerships related to prior learning assessment (PLA), specifically those partnerships between the workforce system of a region and its community colleges, are important for increasing credential attainment. By exploring one such pilot project, this paper also provides considerations for communities that are interested in undertaking similar work.

The Adult Learner: A Critical Ally for State Economic Development

This article, written by Wilson Finch, senior consultant at CAEL, is featured in The Council of State Governements Book of States 2016. This piece makes the argument to state policymakers that a focus on adult and nontraditional students is not only critically lacking and long overdue, but also essential to state educational attainment and economic goals.


Strategies for Transformative Change 

The Transformative Change Initiative (TCI) is dedicated to assisting community colleges to scale-up innovations that improve student outcomes and program organizations and system performance. CAEL was a key partner in the effort to implement Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) practices.


Inflection Point: Supply, Demand and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region

In partnership with Burning Glass Technologies, CAEL recently completed a supply demand analysis for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. This report highlights opportunities within the Greater Pittsburgh region to use human capital to drive economic growth, as well as providing a community call to action to realize stronger engagement and greater alignment between labor supply and industry demand.


The Healthy Workforce Ecosystem

A healthy workforce ecosystem is one where the range of providers — K-12 systems, public and private universities, corporate education, two- and four-year colleges, skills training programs and economic developers — all play their part in meeting the range of employer and target sector needs.


Content, Collaboration, Communication, Capacity

Every community can expand and focus content, increase collaboration, improve communication and build capacity. As communities work to differentiate themselves in a competitive global economy, the need for alignment between economic and workforce development has never been more important.


A Guide to Upskilling America’s Frontline Workers

The US economy is continuing to experience a strong recovery and is creating millions of jobs along the way. But still, there are not enough skilled workers to fill these jobs. In fact, as of January 2015, five million jobs remained unfilled in the United States. Employers consistently report they are facing a major skills shortage challenge.


Common Skills for Employability and Pathways to Advancement

Competency Mapping Resources for Retail & Adjacent Industries

The skills and abilities critical to success in retail work—skills like customer service, teamwork, service recovery, and problem-solving - are in demand from employers not just in retail, but many other industries.

CAEL created these resources that capture and expand upon existing research on skills developed through front-line retail worker. They can be used to communicate the value and inform the creation of competency-based workforce activities in retail.


Pillars of Success

A Guide to Implementing Place-Based Retail Initiatives

As the retail industry undergoes rapid change, communities across the country are working to develop placed-based coalitions of employers, education/training institutions, and workforce systems to ensure that retail workers have access to quality opportunities for career advancement.

With support from Walmart Giving, CAEL developed this implementation guide to describe the six different “place-based pillars” that should be considered when planning a retail career opportunity initiative. It also provides examples from two recent retail initiatives funded by Walmart Giving, describes unique considerations when engaging the retail industry, and provides suggestions on how to communicate with retailers about the public workforce system.


Charleston: Understanding the Human Capital Ecosystem

CAEL and our long-time economic analysis partner, Avalanche Consulting, worked with The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce in Charleston, South Carolina to conduct research and analysis and create regional recommendations for the education and training ecosystem which resulted in a strategy which supports talent development in key industry sectors in the region.


Kansas City: Alignment between Industry Demand and Labor Supply

CAEL conducted an in-depth inventory of postsecondary education and training offerings that support skill development for target sectors in the Kansas City region to inform efforts to better align these resources with industry need. CAEL also researched and developed a white paper highlighting best practice models for employer engagement.


San Francisco: Alignment between Industry Demand and Labor Supply

CAEL supported the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) of the City of San Francisco and their city-based training provider the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) to create structure around a city sponsored training and internship program developing the Information Technology workforce called TechSF.


Nashville: Robust Workforce Pipeline to Fill High Growth Positions

The Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and its partners at the Middle Tennessee Regional Workforce Alliance, reached out to CAEL to get a more detailed understanding of career pathways within two key industry sectors: Manufacturing and Information Technology.


Charlotte: Achieving Scale to Drive Economic Growth

The Centralina Council of Governments has prioritized skills development and workforce capacity as a key feature of their plan to grow their economy.


Tulsa: Achieving Scale to Drive Economic Growth

The Tulsa Regional Chamber recognized that general prosperity and high employment in the region was not reaching all neighborhoods and members of the community.


Bioscience Uses an Interactive Career Map to Help with Career Exploration and Awareness

Ohio bio employers are having difficulty attracting the volume of workers required to meet these growth projections.