Arizona's "Revolutionary Approach" to Close Skills Gap
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Center for Education and Workforce has engaged a partnership with Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help close Arizona’s skills gap, which is rooted in a disconnect between businesses and education leaders. Closing the gap will generate a stronger workforce and a better state, and this effort should be led by the people who know businesses’ needs best: employers.
Too often, workforce development programs across Arizona operate independently of each other and with little collaboration among employers and providers. There wasn’t a coordinated employer-driven effort to articulate how state workforce and education programs can be more aligned with employer needs to improve efficiency, support economic development, and provide workers with relevant training for the 21st century economy.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is using Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) principles to build and launch sector-based employer collaboratives. These groups bring employers together to identify common workforce needs and work together to create and encourage solutions that make sense for the business community. In addition to building employer collaboratives, Arizona is also working to improve teacher quality within the state by working with the project “A for Arizona’’ and using the TPM principle of talent flow analysis to identify where the state’s best teachers are currently being trained. By back-mapping teacher talent to find the source, Arizona is able to utilize the data to improve the quality of teachers across the state.
Arizona Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer says the Talent Pipeline Management’s “revolutionary approach is essential in maximizing the opportunity to close the skills gap in Arizona”. TPM is helping Arizona refashion its education system in order to yield more effective transitions into employment for students and improved career advancements for workers.