Enabling Adults without Degrees to Achieve Economic Mobility

The number of jobs requiring education and training beyond high school is expected to increase by 30 percent over the next decade. Yet today there are 40 million Americans who have some college credit but no degree. Municipalities have a key opportunity to connect these individuals to pathways that allow them to complete credentials and attain higher quality jobs. Creating a stronger ecosystem of support for adult students will propel them on a path to greater economic mobility and strengthen cities workforce and economy.

The Municipal Action Cohort: Connecting Adults with Postsecondary to Workforce Success is a partnership between the National League of Cities (NLC) and the CAEL Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. This partnership brings together NLC’s decades-long history of hands-on experience and CAEL’s postsecondary expertise to provide municipal leaders timely technical assistance, assessment, peer learning, and resources to strengthen pathways to postsecondary and workforce success.

This initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Kresge Foundation and Strada Education Foundation.

Municipal Action Cohort

The Municipal Action Cohort is connecting adults with postsecondary educational opportunities that lead to good jobs – particularly those with some college and who may be close to a terminal credential. 

Cities are receiving technical assistance from NLC and CAEL to:

  • Strengthen collaboration between city leaders, postsecondary, and workforce partners. 
  • Better understand the needs and desires of potential adult students and the barriers they are facing or may have previously faced during prior postsecondary experiences. 
  • Develop action plans to re-engage adult learners and support students through completion of a credential. 
  • Access the latest data on in-demand skills and opportunity occupations in their community, to ensure that institutions recruit adult students for education and training relevant to jobs available in their local labor markets. 
  • Create innovative programs, policies, and practices to successfully bring adults back into postsecondary education settings that provide upward economic mobility. 
  • Establish stronger city-led, cross-sector ecosystem of support for adult college students, including their critical basic needs. 
  • Pioneer inventive and scalable solutions to build toward national movement of supporting postsecondary success and strengthened communities and economies.

Municipal Action Cohort Participants:  

  • Abilene, TX 
  • LaBelle, FL 
  • Tampa, FL 
  • Waco, TX