Current approaches to financing education and career readiness fail to meet the needs of the labor market. The Talent Finance initiative will explore new ways to invest in people and skills that keep pace with innovation and advance economic opportunity, diversity, inclusion, and competitiveness.
The new economy competes on talent, yet the current approach to financing talent development was built for a different era and economy. In this dynamic economy, jobs — and the skills required to fill those jobs — are constantly evolving. We need an approach that can evolve with the economy, and the changing needs of employers. This groundbreaking new initiative, Talent Finance, explores private sector-led solutions and innovations in finance to better invest in people.
Consider that American students have been saddled with more than $1.5 trillion of debt, and in 2019, businesses spent more than $80 billion on training in an ever-changing workforce, yet these efforts have not produced the desired outcomes for workers or employers. To fully address employer needs and emerging risks of the labor market, like changes in employment and frequent fluctuations in income, we need an approach that accounts for student preparation for those entering the workforce and re-entry of the unemployed.
To successfully build the workforce of the future, we must constantly innovate and invest in the economy's most important resource — human capital. Talent Finance will develop new ways for employers and the financial services community to collaborate and identify new private sector tools for financing talent, develop new strategies for managing risk in the labor market, and manage how to pay for workers to get and constantly refine the skills they need. This initiative seeks to do more than simply advance a set of recommendations, it seeks to build a new consensus, and further — build a movement.
Talent Finance Design Workshop and Innovation Network
The Talent Finance Design Workshop series is intended for public and private organizations and professionals who want to: (1) learn more about finance instruments and innovations that can used in talent development and management; (2) network with peers and finance experts; and (3) design a new or improve an existing project(s) for implementation. Eligible applicants and teams can include, but are not limited to, chambers of commerce, employers, workforce investment boards, student finance/aid agencies, CDFIs, education and training providers (e.g., universities or community colleges), funders collaboratives focused on education and workforce outcomes, economic development organizations, and other organizations that stand to benefit from designing new talent finance products, services, and partnerships.
The Talent Finance Innovation Network (TFIN) is a community group dedicated to putting the Talent Finance guiding principles and framework into practice. TFIN is tailored for individuals/organizations who have participated in a Talent Finance Design Workshop Series, solution providers, and others who have a particular interest and understanding of the Talent Finance initiative.
To learn more about joining the Talent Finance Innovation Network, contact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talent Finance Solution Provider Directory
The Talent Finance Solution Provider Directory is a way to connect organizations who are offering products or services that advance sustainable and equitable ways to finance talent. The goal of the directory is to provide TFIN members and workshop participants with information that enables them to find the right fit for themselves or their clients. It can also help TFIN members and workshop participants prepare for meetings with solution providers to increase efficiency at the beginning of a partnership.
Interested in being included in the Talent Finance Solution Provider Directory? Fill out the Solution Provider Directory Form.
Talent Finance Workgroups
- Employee Education Benefits WorkgroupCo-chaired with SHRM, this workgroup is exploring how to reimagine and transform employee education benefits. Our current approach to employee education benefits was build for a different economy and workforce. This workgroup is designing a solution that can make employee education benefits more flexible, portable, and worker-centric and that can reskill and upskill the workforce.
- Quality Assurance WorkgroupCo-chaired with Workforce Talent Educators Association (WTEA), this workgroup is exploring an alternative quality assurance framework that can be used to recognize education, training, and credentialing programs that meet the business community’s standard of quality. Such recognition can help providers better partner with employers and be eligible for alternative finance.
- Talent Finance Innovation FundLed by Uncommon Impact Studio, this project is exploring how to launch a “fund of funds” that could help to seed, catalyze, and scale alternative finance solutions in states and communities. Projects emerging out of the Talent Finance Design Workshop would be eligible to access solutions supported by the Innovation Fund.
A new initiative offers loans — repayable later by some employers — to students who might otherwise have difficulty overcoming traditional credit thresholds.
- Talent Finance: Coordination Through Quality AssuranceIn late 2022, we launched the Quality Assurance Workgroup, co-chaired by Workforce Talent Educators Association and the U.S. Chamber Foundation.
- Reimagining Employee Education Benefits: A Public-Private ApproachThe Employee Education Benefits Workgroup was asked to review and analyze Section 127, a tax code-driven employee education benefit that has been in place since 1978.
- Training and Development Landscape StudyWe partnered with SHRM to survey the training and development landscape and employer appetite for alternative approaches to financing talent.
Investing in Talent Podcast
Listen to a conversation with Jason Tyszko, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and Peter Beard, Greater Houston Partnership, led by journalist Hari Sreenivasan, on the critical work of upskilling and educating future and current workers.
The loss of eligibility for public safety-net programs and the benefits they provide as income rises above eligibility limits is called a “benefit cliff.” Benefits cliffs can significantly impact lower-wage workers and their families financially and may act as a disincentive for pursuing modest promotions and incremental raises and career development.
Jason Tyszko, vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce, outlined the significance of financing at the ASU+GSV Summit, and how the U.S. Chamber Foundation's Talent Finance Initiative can help.
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President and Chief Executive Officer Raphael Bostic discusses engaging the public sector and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s mandate to increase and improve economic mobility and resistance.
Paul Freedman, president, Learning Marketplace at Guild Education, discusses the transformation in how we think about our talent development systems and the solution that lies in a public-private approach.
J. Puckett, senior partner and managing director, Boston Consultant Group discusses why Talent Finance can address our talent financing challenges.
In this installment of the Talent Finance Video Series, Ashli Watts, president and CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, sat down with Stuart Andreason, director, Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, to discuss Talent Finance.