Show, Don’t Tell: How Companies are Building the Workforce of the Future
Originally published on Above the Fold. Republished by Center for Education and Workforce.
Within the walls of the U.S. Chamber, there’s always activity afoot. National and world leaders visit on a daily basis to talk with the business community. Now, there’s something happening on the walls.
On Monday, the U.S. Chamber revealed a new campaign, “Building the Workforce of the Future,” which kicked off with an art installation showcasing some of America’s leading employers in workforce development efforts. These employers are: PNC, The Home Depot, IBM, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, the Greater Houston Partnership, Wyoming Machine, and Novelis.
The display illustrates the work of these companies, across the four phases of the nation’s talent pipeline, to close the skills gap and cultivate a highly-trained workforce of tomorrow. [To see graphics from the actual in-person display, read the Above the Fold article by the same title.]
In his State of American Business address earlier this year, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue enumerated the importance of building a workforce of the future.
“Growth doesn’t happen without people—the men and women who provide the energy, ingenuity, and ideas that power our economy. [...] The Chamber believes that we need an all-of-the-above approach to address the dual challenge of people without jobs, and jobs without people,” said Donohue.
The U.S. Chamber has called for bold education reforms, the development of industry-recognized high-quality career pathways, as well as for expanded workforce learning opportunities. Further, the Chamber is focused on the promotion of lifelong learning, encouraging workers to adapt to the changing nature and needs of business.
This new installation serves as a visual reminder to visitors of the U.S. Chamber’s dedication to the most pressing education and workforce challenges of our day. Nearly every day, the U.S. Chamber hears from a business leader experiencing difficulty filling open job opportunities, and the latest edition of the USG + U.S. Chamber Commercial Index found 65% of small construction contractors had difficulty finding skilled workers. Additionally, data shows that less than half of high school juniors and seniors report that they feel adequately prepared to enter the workforce.
Driven by this data, the U.S. Chamber and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are committed to helping employers guide solutions for closing the skills and achievement gaps our nation faces.
As Donohue recently put it, “To provide pathways to opportunity for all Americans, businesses—along with government, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders—must join in the quest for a solution.”
The U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce plays an instrumental role in paving these pathways, encouraging high-quality education at every phase of the talent pipeline, and tackling workforce development challenges that plague many industries.
At the center of closing the skills gap is Talent Pipeline Management,™ the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s signature workforce initiative, which uses supply chain management principles to transform education and workforce systems to be employer-led and demand-driven. With over 1,000 employers engaged in the program, business leaders across industries are preparing future generations of workers, developing the talent pipelines that will deliver the skills needed to excel in the jobs of tomorrow.
“The knowledge economy demands students learn to think critically, collaborate effectively, and communicate clearly. We also know that we need students to be tech savvy. Our education system should provide students with experiences that sharpen these skills,” Center for Education and Workforce Senior Vice President Cheryl Oldham wrote.
This art installation, along with the support of its companion website ForwardonTalent.org, shows that employers have adopted an array of strategies, all with the common goal of aligning talent development with business and economic need.
Check out the website in the weeks to come for more about the eight companies featured in the U.S. Chamber’s new exhibit as well as new companies added as the website continues to grow.