THE BLOG

Can Prior Learning Assessment Help Solve the Talent Mismatch?

01/29/2013 03:45 pm ET | Updated Mar 31, 2013

From a LinkedIn email: "There are over 3.5 million unfilled jobs right now, while tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed."

How can employers fill the jobs they need and how can individuals make sure they have the skills and education necessary to fill those jobs? Over the past few months I've been talking to employers about including the cost of prior learning assessment (PLA) in their respective tuition assistance policies. PLA is a new term for employers, but they quickly understand how it can save them money in tuition dollars and save their employees both time and money.

I've also been spending a lot of time in Houston where the city is engaged in an initiative, My Degree Counts, with the goal of raising college graduation rates in the Greater Houston region by at least 1 percent by summer of 2013. That 1 percent increase would mean $4.2 billion dollars for the Houston economy -- a fact that is not lost on regional employers. They are eager to play a role in this initiative, and they recognize that covering the cost of and promoting the use of PLA is one way they can do that.

It's time for employers to start strategically using their tuition assistance dollars to "grow" the talent they need to fill their unfilled jobs. Covering the cost of PLA, and, thus, giving employees the opportunity to get college credit for what they already know, is a win for both employer and employee.

Click here to learn more about how CAEL is helping adults earn college credits for what they already know.