The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced a $1.5 million grant from American Student Assistance® (ASA) – a national nonprofit changing the way kids learn about careers and navigate a path to postsecondary education and career success. The grant was designed to address the challenge of access to authentic work-based learning and soft or employability skill credentialing opportunities.
The grant will fund a pilot of the Employer Provided Innovation Challenges (EPIC) initiative, an online platform that aims to bring users together to create solutions for real-world, employer-led workplace learning challenges. EPIC will provide learners with opportunities to work as a team on real-world industry problems that not only promote career awareness, but also career preparation.
EPIC will provide learners with opportunities to work as a team on real-world industry problems that not only promote career awareness, but also career preparation. Regional and national partners — including large corporations, small and medium enterprises, government agencies, municipalities and nonprofit organizations — will provide the challenges. The challenges will focus on the development and implementation of new ideas and new actions to create social value.
Through 2025, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will organize up to 50 challenges reaching as many as 500 learners, utilizing project management tools and infrastructure, frameworks, and rubrics. Micro-credentialing, such as digital badging and Learning and Employment Records (LERs), will also be designed and tested.
“Through our innovative partnership with the U.S. Chamber Foundation, we can better engage employers in work-based learning opportunities,” said Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility, Julie Lammers, ASA. “Doing so provides support for career exploration and real-world learning, and increases the opportunity for more young people to build skills to become workforce ready.”