U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and USA Funds Launch Guide to Close Skills Gap

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 11:00am

Supply Chain Management Techniques Help Employers Hire Qualified Workers

WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) and USA Funds today released “Building the Talent Pipeline: An Implementation Guide," an innovative toolkit for employers to use to help find qualified candidates for open positions today and to create a robust pipeline for jobs that will be available in the future.

The guide is a byproduct of the USCCF and USA Funds Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) initiative, which empowered seven regional partners, including representatives from public organizations and boards, chambers and business associations, and leaders in manufacturing and energy, to experiment with different strategies to improve and strengthen their talent pipelines.

“The United States has more than 5 million job vacancies, but lacks qualified workers to fill them,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation Center for Education and Workforce. “This is more than a shame - it's a call to action. We need bold solutions and fresh thinking from the employer community, including coming together to work with educators and government on shared workforce goals. The Talent Pipeline Implementation Guide was produced by groups of employers collaborating together and is a step-by-step guide to best practices that are specific to preparing and hiring workers."

Launched in November 2014 with a $2 million USA Funds grant, the TPM initiative created a national learning network to identify and test strategies for improving communication between employers and education and training partners, measuring partner effectiveness, and encouraging the public and private sectors to make meaningful changes to their education and workforce systems. The guide launched today uses case studies and the real world experience of the regional partners to build on the ideas introduced in the “Managing the Talent Pipeline: A New Approach to Closing the Skills Gap” white paper.

“There is no way to close the skills gap without involving employers who best understand what skills, knowledge, competencies, and attitudes are needed to succeed in today's competitive job market,” said Bill Hansen, president and CEO of USA Funds. “The TPM initiative engaged business leaders in a new and holistic way, starting with having them confirm where they wanted to go and what they needed to do to get there, and tracked back to how schools are educating and equipping students such that they would be ready to lean into career opportunities. We believe this guide will help everyone to invest and engage in a more thoughtful and productive way as it incorporates the processes, results, and stories of our regional partners."

The regional partners include the Arizona Chamber Foundation, Vermilion Advantage (Illinois), the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors (Kansas), Impact Northern Kentucky, Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium, the Greater Houston Partnership (Texas), and Elevate Virginia.

To learn more and download a copy of the guide, visit www.thetalentsupplychain.org.

USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at www.usafunds.org.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.