USA Funds Awards $2.5 Million Grant to Address Skills Gap
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) announced today that it has been awarded a nearly $2.5 million grant from USA Funds to accelerate the adoption of a new employer-led, demand-driven model of postsecondary education and training, which aims to close the nation’s skills gap.
USA Funds’ support will allow USCCF to expand its Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) model to 40 additional communities, impacting approximately 1,000 employers over the next three years.
To accelerate adoption of the model, the grant from USA Funds will support establishment of a TPM Academy, which will provide workshops for business professionals to receive instruction on talent pipeline strategies and guidance for implementation. USCCF will also develop additional resources, including software, to help automate components of the TPM model.
“Education without real-world applicability or the ability of college graduates to launch a career will not yield the results we need to continue to grow the American economy,” said William D. Hansen, USA Funds president and CEO. “We must improve the alignment between what is learned in the classroom and what is needed in the workplace if we are to close our nation’s skills gap.”
The TPM model is designed to address the mismatch between outcomes of the current education and training system and the needs of the workforce by positioning employers as key customers in the delivery of a vital resource: talent. Through the application of supply chain management principles, which are familiar to most businesses, the model makes use of strategies to improve communication between employers and education and training partners; provide clear metrics for measuring partner effectiveness; and better align incentives to encourage real change in education and workforce systems.
“One of the most valuable things we provided our partner networks over the past year was training, support, and technical assistance to understand, adapt, and implement supply chain strategies,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce. “These groundbreaking TPM Academies will take talent supply chain practices to a new level of application, enabling us to scale faster at a fraction of the cost.”
During the past year, state and local government officials and more than 200 employers have partnered to implement the TPM model in seven locations in Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia.
With $2 million in funding from USA Funds, the USCCF launched the TPM initiative in 2014, calling for employers to play an expanded leadership role in organizing and managing a preferred provider network of education and workforce partners that are measured and rewarded based on their ability to deliver a skilled workforce.
In support of the initiative, the USCCF has issued a white paper explaining the concept, supported seven learning networks, distributed an implementation guide with six key strategies for building the talent pipeline, and has conducted two national conferences on the topic.
For more information about the TPM model, visit www.TheTalentSupplyChain.org.
USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at www.usafunds.org.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy.