U.S. Chamber Foundation and USA Funds Tackle the Skills Gap

May 8, 2015
Announces Regional Partners to Pilot Talent Pipeline Management Strategies 
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) and USA Funds today announced the selection of seven regional partners to pilot Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) strategies, a project aimed at bridging the skills gap. 
“With 5 million vacant jobs in the United States, the frustration level has understandably reached a new high among businesses desperate for skilled workers,” said Cheryl Oldham, vice president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation Center for Education and Workforce. “Too many aspiring workers are shut out of jobs because they do not have the necessary skills and credentials that businesses are looking for.”
Oldham also noted that according to a CareerBuilder study referenced in the recent USCCF report, “Managing the Talent Pipeline: A New Approach to Closing the Skills Gap,” these vacant jobs cost businesses as much as $23,000 per unfilled position.
“If we can close the skills gap, we can help close the income gap, move lower wage workers into higher earning jobs, and provide economic security to individuals and families who increasingly feel it is beyond their reach today,” said William “Bill” Hansen, USA Funds president and CEO. “Employers and business leaders need to be at the forefront of addressing the skills gap because they know best the training and abilities needed in the workplace. Their involvement will be vital in establishing a sustainable workforce that enhances America’s long-term competitiveness.”
Launched in November 2014, the TPM initiative will create a national learning network to identify pathways to ensure a more competitive 21st century worforce. Each regional partner will pilot one or more of the six talent pipeline practices in an effort to determine which programs are most effective.
The regional partners include the Arizona Chamber Foundation, Vermilion Advantages in Illinois, the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors in Kansas, Impact Northern Kentucky, Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium, the Greater Houston Partnership and Elevate Virginia.  
To assist the learning network in positioning employers as end-customers in the talent supply chain, USCCF will provide planning and implementation guidance, technical and expert assistance, and opportunities to participate in workshops and online webinars. 
The research and input collected from the regional participants will help complete the development of a talent pipeline management toolkit that will be released nationwide in fall 2015 and available to employers to adopt. To learn more, visit www.thetalentsupplychain.org.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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.