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ERIC Number: ED509909
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Changing Lives through Lifelong Learning Accounts
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (NJ1)
As conceived by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs[SM]) are employer-matched, portable individual accounts used to finance employee education and training. They provide employees with an affordable means of upgrading their skills and knowledge, while helping to meet the needs of employers and the community for a stronger workforce. LiLAs promote individual savings and encourage co-investment in education and training. LiLAs are set up much like a 401(k) retirement plan, in that both employees and employers contribute to the account. CAEL's long-term goal is for LiLAs to become a standard feature of employee compensation packages, with employees and employers receiving a tax benefit for their contributions to LiLA accounts. There is currently federal legislation that would establish a demonstration of LiLAs in up to ten states. Starting in 2001, CAEL implemented a rolling LiLA demonstration program in three sites--Chicago, Northeast Indiana, and San Francisco (in partnership with Jewish Vocational Service)--in the health care, restaurant and manufacturing industries, and the public sector. The programs each had a three-year life span. During the first two years, funds were built through employee contributions and employer matches of up to $500 annually by each party. These resources were matched by public and private grant dollars to provide an incentive for contributions. Participants used accrued LiLA funds for education and training during the three-year period. In the LiLA demonstration, advisors have been key in helping employees develop an Individual Learning Plan (ILP), which serves as a blueprint for determining the educational steps appropriate to each individual's desired career path. By working closely with an advisor, participants can define their career goals and assess the options that best fit their skills, interests, and personal and professional goals. This paper tells the stories of just a few of the 359 participants in CAEL's demonstration sites over the past five years. Participation in the LiLA program has proven to be not just a practical course of action--but for many, a profoundly transformative experience.
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. 55 East Monroe Street Suite 1930, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 312-499-2600; Fax: 312-499-2601; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
Identifiers - Location: California; Illinois; Indiana