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Lifelong Learning Accounts. CEDEFOP Seminar on Individual Learning Accounts January 31, 2008. Who is CAEL?. CAEL is the C ouncil for A dult and E xperiential L earning A 501(c)3 non-profit, international organization with 33+ years of experience

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Lifelong Learning Accounts

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Lifelong learning accounts

Lifelong Learning Accounts

CEDEFOP Seminar on Individual Learning Accounts

January 31, 2008

Who is cael

Who is CAEL?

  • CAEL is theCouncil for Adult and Experiential Learning

  • A 501(c)3 non-profit, international organization with 33+ years of experience

  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL with offices in Philadelphia, PA; Denver, CO; New York, NY;

    and Norwalk, CT

  • A national workforce intermediary dedicated

    to removing barriers to adult learning

Skills gap

Skills Gap

  • IDC, a global technology market intelligence firm, predicts as much as a 40 percent gap between the demand and supply of technical networking skills by year 2012 .

  • Source: Cisco Addresses Global Networking Skills Gap with New Entry-Level Certification and Updates to CCNA, June 2007, found at

  • In a 2005 survey, 90 percent of manufacturers reported a moderate to severe shortage of skilled production workers, including machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors, and technicians.

  • National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Deloitte. 2005. Manufacturing Institute, Skills Gap Report – A Survey of the American Manufacturing Workforce.

Education gap

Education Gap

Estimates suggest that by 2014, the U.S. labor force will be short 9 million college educated workers, including 3 million Associate Degree holders.

As cited by Employment and Training Administration, Adults in Higher Education: Barriers to Success and Strategies to Improve Results (March 2007)

Lack of funds is a key barrier

Lack of Funds is a Key Barrier

Tuition and fees between 1997 and 2007 increased annually

  • 5.6 percent at private four-year colleges and universities

  • 7.1 percent public four-year colleges and universities

  • 4.2 percent at public two-year colleges

College Board. 2007. Trends in college pricing. Trends in higher education series.

Most community college students are working

Most Community College Students are Working

Boswell, Katherine and Cynthia D. Wilson. 2004. Keeping America’s Promise: A report on the future of the community college. Education Commission of the States and the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Who pays for adult learning

Who Pays for Adult Learning?

Informal Analysis by Ford Foundation 2003

What are lilas

What are LiLAs?

Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs):

Employer-matched, portable, individual accounts to finance employee education and training

Key characteristics of lilas

Sponsored by Employer

Employer Matched

Optional 3rd Party Matches

Portable (Employee Owned)


Voluntary Participation

Broad Use of Funds

Career & Education Advising

Key Characteristics of LiLAs

Initial lila demonstration sites

Initial LiLA Demonstration Sites

CAEL Demonstration (late 2001 – summer 2007)

  • Chicago - restaurant industry; 127 employees

  • Northeast Indiana - 79 manufacturing employees; 76 public sector employees

  • San Francisco – healthcare; 77 employees

Overview of participants employers

Overview of Participants: Employers

  • 37 employers

  • 4 sectors: healthcare, restaurant, manufacturing, and public sector

  • Size varies from 3 to 5,500 workers

  • 65% have fewer than 110 employees

What appeals to employers

What Appeals to Employers?

  • Potential increased recruitment and retention of employees

  • Affordable addition to existing benefit package

  • Career & education advising for frontline staff

  • Setting a cap on monthly and total annual LiLA contributions

  • Being part of national initiative to increase access to education

Overview of participants employees

Overview of Participants: Employees

  • 35% earn less than $30,000 per year; 70% earn less than $40,000 per year

  • 46% lacked any postsecondary credential

  • 43% are over age 40

  • 37% are minorities

  • 55% are female



Education attainment

Education Attainment

Preliminary outcomes


Co-investment strategy works

  • As of September 2006, leveraged $219,404 from workers and $200,512 from employers.

  • Employee contribution matched 1:1 by employers up to $500. Project matched total contributions.

  • Average monthly contribution of LiLA participants (excluding those who dropped out) = $33.82

Preliminary outcomes1


Participants use LiLAs to advance and/or retool

  • Based on internal review, 70% reported educational goals related to

    • current job,

    • promotion with the same employer, or

    • related work with the same employer or industry.

  • More often reported seeing a relationship between their studies and a future job as opposed to current job.

Preliminary outcomes2


LiLAs can provide a significant incentive to pursue education and training

  • Approximately half (44 to 58%, depending on the sector) of LiLA participants had not been planning to enroll in education or training before the start of the LiLA program

  • 84% of participants who made regular or significant contributions to their LiLAs used their LiLA for at least one class.

  • Across all sites, the average LiLA expenditure per participant was $2,003.

Preliminary outcomes3


Participants valued advising services

  • 97% of participants report that they found their CAEL advisor to be helpful

  • 30-40% of participants willing to pay for advising out-of-pocket

Preliminary outcomes4


High level of program satisfaction

  • 88 to 90% of participants were “satisfied” or “very satisfied.”

  • 87% reported that they would continue participation even if the program included only employer match funds.

  • 90% of responding employers reported that they were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied.

National lila project sponsors

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Ford Foundation

Bank of America Foundation

Chicago Community Trust

City of Fort Wayne

Olive B. Cole Foundation

Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

Walter and Elise Haas Fund

Friedman Family Foundation

Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund

Grand Victoria Foundation

Hewlett Foundation

Indiana Department of Workforce Development

Indiana Michigan Power

Indiana Northeast Development

Levi Strauss Foundation

Lincoln Financial Group Foundation, Inc.

Lumina Foundation for Education

Noble County Community Foundation, Inc.

Northeast Indiana Workforce Investment Board (in-kind contributions)

Polk Bros. Foundation

San Francisco Foundation

Steuben County Community Foundation

The Atlantic Philanthropies

United States Department of Labor (Maine program)

Verizon Foundation

National LiLA Project Sponsors

Taking lilas to scale

Taking LiLAs to Scale

  • Administrative Infrastructure

  • Program Marketing

  • Advising Resources

  • Public Policy

Lila initiatives moving forward

LiLA Initiatives Moving Forward

  • Federal

    • National Lifelong Learning Accounts Act of 2007 (S.26)

    • Lifelong Learning Accounts Act of 2007 (H.R. 2901)

  • State and Regional

    • State-based program (Maine and Washington (new))

    • Mature Worker pilot (San Francisco)

    • Legislative initiatives

      • Illinois

      • Hawaii

    • WIRED – US Department of Labor

      • Coastal Maine

      • Kansas City region

    • Planning grant for NYC LiLA demonstration

    • Planning grant for Michigan LiLA initiative

Federal lila bills

Federal LiLA Bills

  • January 4, 2007- S. 26 introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

  • June 28, 2007, H.R. 2901 introduced by Rep. Thomas Allen (D-ME)

Features of the federal bills

Features of the Federal Bills

  • Amend the IRC to establish a LiLA demonstration program for up to 200,000 workers in up to 10 states

  • Participating states selected in a competitive process

  • Tax credit equal to the amount contributed into a LiLA up to $500 per tax year (refundable credit and additional deduction for individuals in the House bill)

  • Distributions excluded from gross income Targets tax incentives to lower and middle-income earners

  • Employer option to match workers’ contributions; tax credits of up to $500/tax year

Lila participants say

LiLA Participants say…

“People should never stop learning. The LiLA program helps you financially and it won’t break the bank.”

Contact information

Contact Information

Amy Sherman

Associate VP for Policy and Strategic Alliances

(312) 499-2635

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