Hope is Not a Strategy


Hope is not a strategy, but the Talent Pipeline Management initiative is a strategy with proven results.

America Working Forward, an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on October 16, brought together employers, education and training providers, and policymakers from across the country to discuss innovative approaches to propel the economy forward. The main focus of the event was to acknowledge the ever widening skills gap facing our nation, to discuss its complexity, and to highlight an employer-led strategy that is quickly gaining momentum across the country.

That strategy is called the Talent Pipeline Management initiative, or TPM for short.

Everyone talks about it. These should be flush times for American business. But executives across industries and in businesses of all sizes cite difficulty finding the talent needed to grow their business. 67% of employers can’t find qualified candidates for open positions. 60% of employers have had their open positions listed for 12 weeks or longer. And the confidence of those employers in future college grads being prepared for the workforce sits at a meager 11%.

These statistics come from our special report, distributed at the America Working Forward event, produced in partnership with Burning Glass Technologies. The magazine, now available for download, tells the real stories and provides the hard data around the skills gap challenge. It also highlights those companies like Siemens USA, Wegmans, Walmart, and JP Morgan Chase who are making waves and changing lives with their employer-led approaches.  

More About TPM

For years, there has been a disconnect between what businesses want new employees to know before they show up for work and what the applicant pool actually knows. The TPM initiative puts employers in the driver’s seat of workforce partnerships for demand-driven workforce solutions. And it’s working for states like Houston, Kansas, and Kentucky, with success stories from Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona soon to come.

Started as a pilot in seven communities, rolling into 2018 the TPM Academy is 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.

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