October 16, 2017


Lays Out Employer-Led Approach to Closing the Skills Gap

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce released a new workforce development curriculum designed to serve as a playbook for job creators, economic development organizations, state and local governments, and educators to work together to close the skills gap community by community.

The Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) Academy curriculum – unveiled at today’s America Working Forward event in Washington, D.C. – is the result of over a year of collaborative work with over 70 chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and workforce intermediaries.

“Collaborating with business organizations from across the country was critical to developing a robust TPM Academy curriculum that will help businesses from a variety of industries connect people to jobs and close the skills gap,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce. “This curriculum sets the standard for what effective employer leadership looks like in today’s education and workforce programs. We look forward to seeing how communities use TPM Academy to achieve their goals.”

The curriculum is a six-strategy, step-by-step approach for using talent supply chain activities to help develop a stronger and more effective workforce. The six strategies are:

  1. Organize employer collaboratives where the business community is able to come together to discuss how to utilize talent supply chain strategies to address their most critical workforce needs.
  2. Engage in demand planningto develop annual or short-term projections of future openings for its most critical jobs. Having a consensus level of demand is an employer collaborative’s first task and ensures the collaborative has the data needed to develop targeted talent supply chain solutions.
  3. Communicate competency and credentialing requirementsfor filling job openings. Establishing clear hiring requirements maintains a strong talent pipeline by helping employers hire the worker best-suited for a particular role.
  4. Analyze talent flows to assess where an employer collaborative traditionally finds qualified talent, if talent flow meets projected demand, and what resources are needed to maintain and increase the talent flow.
  5. Build talent supply chains with established performance measures and utilize incentives for effective-management of the talent supply chain.
  6. Continuous improvement of the talent supply chain in cooperation with talent-provider partners to ensure the collaborative remains committed to TPM strategies.

America Working Forward also featured a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. Secretary Acosta’s remarks came on the same day he announced members of the President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, including U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. The Task Force will work together to propose strategies to close the skills gap through demand-driven education, such as apprenticeships.

Throughout the day, America Working Forward attendees – employers, education and training providers, and policymakers – participated in discussions focused on innovative approaches to address the needs of 21st century American workers, students, and employers. Featured panelists included Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Scott Jensen, discussing career readiness, and Secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Hal Heiner, discussing Kentucky’s experience developing employer-led education and workforce partnerships.

The U.S. Chamber Foundation will continue to work with job creators across America to help implement the TPM Academy curriculum and close the skills gap.

The TPM Academy curriculum is available online here.