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Employer Provided Innovation Challenges (EPIC) provides learners and workers with access to authentic, employer-sponsored project-based learning through a network of business associations and other challenge providers to better prepare learners and workers for in-demand careers.

Career-connected learning is a vital aspect of modern education that seamlessly prepares students for the workforce. While internships have long been the preferred choice for bridging this gap, the demand for work-based learning experiences is skyrocketing. To meet this demand, we're exploring innovative approaches beyond traditional internships. This enriches students' educational journeys, providing them with more opportunities and relevant experiences. It's a win-win, as employers also benefit from fresh talent, driving progress in our dynamic workforce.

EPIC provides employers as well as education and workforce development partners with a standardized platform to scale and credential employer-sponsored challenges that support career awareness, exploration, and development. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is working with its national network of business associations and employers to make authentic project-based learning available at scale.

Building Experience, Increasing Opportunity

  • Creating PathwaysEPIC will demonstrate that authentic problem-based learning is a high-quality form of work-based learning that can better support career awareness, career exploration, and career advancement (i.e., reskilling and upskilling) for learners and workers.
  • Solutions at ScaleEPIC will demonstrate that authentic problem-based learning can be supported at scale through a nationally accredited network of employers and business associations functioning as challenge clearinghouses.
  • Credentials and EquityEPIC will demonstrate that authentic problem-based learning can be credentialed in a trusted and high-quality way, and can be more equitably accessed by learners, workers, and those organizations that serve them.

Students Need More Real-World Experience from Industry

We know from American Student Assistance (ASA) research that while 79 percent of high school students would be interested in a work-based learning experience, only 34% were aware of any opportunities for students their age — and just 2% of students had completed a hands-on career learning experience during high school.

Ways to Partner

  • If you are a business association: serve as a clearinghouse for challenges operating as an intermediary between the employers that develop those challenges and the education and workforce partners that organize teams of learners and workers that participate in them.
  • If you are an education or workforce partner: make this opportunity available to learners and workers to support career awareness, exploration, and development.
  • If you are an employer: partner with a challenge clearinghouse to design and deliver authentic projects for teams of learners and workers.

For more information:

Contact Sarah Castro to learn more and partner at

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