City of Abilene Partners with Collegiate Edu-Nation to Champion Adult Education and Workforce Development through National League of Cities and CAEL Initiative

by CEN Team | Apr 11, 2024 | Media & Press, Blog

Collegiate Edu-Nation


[ABILENE, TX, April 11, 2024] – The City of Abilene, in a significant move to bridge the educational and career achievement gaps within its adult population, announces a pioneering partnership with Collegiate Edu-Nation (CEN) to lead the expansion of the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) and introduce the Edu-REACH initiative (Rural Education Achievement for Community Hope).

The Municipal Action Cohort is part of a new peer-learning initiative led by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), designed to fast-track the efforts of municipalities in developing robust systems to connect adults to postsecondary educational opportunities leading to rewarding careers.

“Every American deserves the chance to secure a good job,” stated Clarence Anthony, NLC CEO & Executive Director. “Our collaboration with forward-thinking cities, their postsecondary partners, employers, and intermediaries, like CEN, is fundamental in building support networks for adult students. These networks will guide them towards completing their credentials and accessing high-quality jobs.”

Mayor Weldon Hurt of Abilene expressed gratitude for the initiative: “This collaborative effort, significantly led by Collegiate Edu-Nation, marks a transformative phase for our city. It not only addresses the immediate educational and workforce development needs but also establishes a sustainable model for economic and social progress. Our active engagement in this initiative reflects our commitment to leveraging education as a cornerstone for development and equality.”

Earl Buford, President of CAEL, highlighted the importance of such partnerships: “Collaboration across the education-employment spectrum is crucial. By joining forces with organizations like CEN and municipalities like Abilene, we aim to create seamless pathways for adults into careers that offer not just earnings but also satisfaction and growth.”

Abilene’s mission, championed by CEN, is to overhaul adult education and workforce readiness. The city, leveraging the support from NLC and CAEL and guided by CEN’s leadership, is embarking on comprehensive strategies. These include the development of consortia for continuous dialogue, research to identify educational barriers, and the roll-out of tailored action plans to enhance postsecondary participation, completion rates, and employment in critical industries. Central to these efforts is the establishment of a supportive ecosystem for learners, addressing pivotal needs such as childcare and transportation, and introducing programs aligned with the local labor market needs.

By instituting clear success metrics and sharing insights, Abilene, under the stewardship of CEN and in collaboration with local leaders, educational bodies, and the business community, aims to significantly raise the number of adults obtaining postsecondary credentials. This endeavor not only targets bridging the skills gap but also positions Abilene as a national model in adult education and workforce integration.

Abilene, alongside four other cities participating in the Municipal Action Cohort: Connecting Adults to Postsecondary and Workforce Success, embarks on this journey through 2025, envisioning a future where education and employment are accessible and equitable for all adults.

For more information about the Municipal Action Cohort, please visit
For more information about Collegiate Edu-Nation and its initiatives, please visit
For more information about The City of Abilene, please visit

# # #

About Collegiate Edu-Nation:

CEN is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation based in Roscoe in West Texas that has member school districts located throughout rural Texas. CEN plans to spread strategically across every region in Texas and work with students in rural West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Collegiate Edu Nation – – is a proven strategy founded because of the belief in the potential of every single young person to achieve a life of choice and impact. The core philosophy is “All means all.” Every student in each CEN district will have the same opportunity to match top opportunities for educational attainment and community development with the students’ high aspirations.

Media Contacts:

Collegiate Edu-Nation
Brittany Williams, Chief Partnerships Officer

National League of Cities

Collegiate Edu-Nation
CEN Team