Education Nonprofit Launches New Research Institute to Help Adult Learners Harness Power of Education Throughout Their Working Lives

INDIANAPOLIS, April 12, 2018 – Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening America’s pathways between education and employment, today announced the creation of Strada Institute for the Future of Work (Strada Institute), a new research and development lab. Strada Institute’s research, coupled with a $1.5 million innovation fund, will identify promising solutions for working adults and inform Strada’s mission impact investments aimed at transforming educational pathways for working learners.

“Our nation’s prosperity and economic competitiveness depend on a citizenry that constantly retools itself for the future. Strada Institute will give us the chance to work collaboratively with researchers, innovators, educators and employers to explore new ways to help adult learners move seamlessly between learning and work,” said Michelle Weise, Ph.D., Strada’s senior vice president, workforce strategies, who will serve as chief innovation officer for Strada Institute for the Future of Work.

Shifts in the labor market, including the decreasing durability of technical skills and the growing threat of artificial intelligence closing out job opportunities, have put increased pressure on workers to continually reskill and upskill throughout their careers. Strada Institute will research critical issues related to education and the future of work, including the impact of automation on employment prospects, the role of vocational and technical training in preparing tomorrow’s workforce, and education to employment pathways outside of the traditional postsecondary education ecosystem.

The goal of Strada Institute is to deploy new insights into workforce development policy and practice in a way that concretely impacts adult learners, especially those for whom traditional postsecondary pathways have not yielded success. Insights gained from the institute’s research will directly guide investments from the new $1.5 million Strada Education Innovation Fund as well as the organization’s broader philanthropic and social impact investment strategies.

“If we continue to view career pathways as a single route through traditional higher education, we will stay behind the curve of economic changes. This research laboratory gives us an opportunity to investigate creative solutions, and to use those insights to drive Strada’s work on the front lines of career readiness,” said Jeff Selingo, special advisor to the president and professor of practice at Arizona State University, who will serve on the institute’s Advisory Committee.

In addition to Weise serving as chief innovation officer, Strada Institute welcomes experts: Beth Bean, Ph.D., formerly chief strategy and research officer at the Colorado Department of Higher Education, is director of research; and Andrew R. Hanson joins as a senior research fellow serving previously at the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce.

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