These should be flush times for American business. But all too often, executives in numerous industries and in businesses of all sizes cite difficulty finding the talent needed to grow their business. Countless reports and studies have been published to outline the skills gap that exists, and many solutions have been offered, but of the solutions that exist, none are employer led. Until now.
The Chamber Foundation started the beta Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) initiative in 2014 to put employers in the driver’s seat of workforce partnerships and test a new strategy for demand-driven workforce solutions. Since that time, what started as a pilot in seven communities has expanded to a full-fledged training for more than 65 communities; a curriculum to serve as a playbook for implementing talent supply chain solutions; accompanying web tools to bring the curriculum to life and support business organizations leading these efforts; and a growing network of practitioners, those who have recognized TPM is not your old-school approach to managing talent.
So, how does it work?
The concept behind TPM is simple. We empower open communication, industry-aligned networks, and successful education-workforce partnerships. To oversimplify it a bit, TPM requires employers to get organized within their industry and look within their own data systems to accurately identify their greatest in-demand job needs. Once they identify the needs, they get on the same page regarding how to clearly articulate the skills and knowledge required to successfully carry out those jobs. That information is then shared, through a strategically identified network, with the feeder institutions that can develop and provide that talent—the supply chain.
It’s a triple win. Potential employees are connected to jobs faster and are more adequately prepared. Educational institutions can tout more effective job placement for students. Employers get the right talent for the right job when they need it.
Interested in trying it out?
The TPM Academy curriculum is now available to anyone interested in joining the TPM movement. The curriculum was released publicly for the first time at the Chamber Foundation’s America Working Forward conference in October 2017. Learning from the valuable feedback, successes, and struggles of original TPM Academy participants, the curriculum has gone through intensive editing and the released edition now includes new resources and a broader range of case studies to better assist developing programs.
The future is bright for TPM.
In late October, the Chamber Foundation and Consumer’s Energy hosted the first state-based TPM Academy in Michigan with a group of 20 leaders from Michigan organizations. Consumers Energy, one of the original pilot members, successfully used the TPM approach in 2015, when it identified a need for skilled electric and gas lines worker positions. The result: 100 qualified hires over two years. “It just makes sense for businesses to work together with the state, labor, and the educational community toward a common goal of meeting employment needs,” said Dan Malone, Consumers’ senior vice president of engineering.
Other states are lining up to receive the same support from the Chamber Foundation to test the state-based approach.
Join the diverse network of business-led organizations who agree the time is now for this new approach. If you are an employer closing out 2017 and making plans for the new year, it is the right time to consider a new approach to the talent shortage and skills gap challenges that you face. Build the education-workforce partnership that you have been lacking and stop hoping that the problems will go away on their own. Join us.