Background & Reports

Skills-Based Hiring and Advancement Project Report 

Employers are facing major challenges in closing their skills gaps, diversifying their workforces, and remaining agile in a rapidly changing global economy. As a result, many employers are pursuing skills-based hiring and advancement strategies. They are starting to right-size their requirements by asking for only their most critical specific skills while reducing their use of more indirect indicators of skills such as traditional college degrees and work experience that prevent them from tapping into a broader and more diverse pool of candidates pursuing alternative pathways. They also are exploring new recruitment and hiring practices enabled through advanced data analytics. However there remain many barriers to adoption and scaling. Candidates also are facing major challenges in navigating this dynamic talent marketplace. These challenges can be addressed through a new generation of resumes and learning and employment records (LERs) and new analytics-based guidance services and initiatives, but adoption strategies are needed.

This project provides a framework and forum for aligning and scaling innovative employer practices and initiatives with related learner and worker-centered initiatives designed to empower workers that together have the potential to create significant value for both employers and learners/workers.

Skills-Based Hiring and Advancement (SBHA) is the process by which employers and their HR service providers identify, recruit, hire, and advance candidates based on the match between a work opportunity’s skill requirements and a candidate’s skills.

Published: August 2022

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Developing and Using Public-Private Data Standards for Employment and Earnings Records

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (Chamber Foundation) and the T3 Innovation Network (T3 Network) recently partnered with the HR Open Standards Consortium (HR Open) to develop public-private open data standards for employment and earnings records. Employers use these records in business planning and managing their human resources and report them to federal and state governments, including state Unemployment Insurance (UI) systems. The HR Open standards establish common definitions, clarify data relationships, and provide guidance for employers and their human resources (HR) technology service providers on maintaining and reporting the records, and for government agencies on establishing reporting requirements and data collection systems. This information is provided through a conceptual data model and data dictionary. These standards also provide more technical schema and other documentation to assist in the implementation of the standards. These standards are designed for use in reducing data reporting costs for employers and government and improving labor market information. The Chamber Foundation and T3 Network also partnered with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to assist in engaging states and other stakeholders in developing and reviewing the standards and exploring their applications for enhancing state UI wage records and improving labor market information.

This report contains six sections: Section I summarizes the need for the T3 Network project; Section II provides an overview of the project and its objectives and major work activities; Section III summarizes the work of the HR Open Work Group, including major use cases, data models, and standards developed; Section IV presents an overview of the types of benefits, costs, and challenges discussed in the stakeholder forums, follow-up meetings and interviews, and previous research projects and reports; Section V explores different approaches and options in using the standards to improve data quality and reduce costs in government reporting; and Section VI proposes next steps in further exploring the application of these standards for enhancing state UI wage records and improving overall federal and state data collection systems.

Published: February 2021

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Data Dictionary & Definitions


Accelerating the Digital Transformation of the Talent Marketplace

The nascent work of the T3 Network Initiative and its productive momentum has affirmed the need to continue to evolve and keep pace with the requirements of its many constituents, which include not only members but also the general public of learners, workers, and employers. Thus, T3 Network leadership organized a Work Group to develop a plan for transitioning into a member-led “Network of Networks.” This Work Group, known as T3N2, met throughout the fall of 2020 to discuss and document thinking on the future of the initiative. The group was tasked with identifying the network’s core value proposition within the ecosystem, promoting both member and humanitarian goals, and establishing an approach for the network to evolve into an independent, self-sustaining entity governed by its diverse membership.

The following report is a synthesis of the cumulative work of the T3N2 Work Group. It seeks to answer the question of “What Next?” for the well-established T3 Innovation Network initiative. The product speaks directly to current T3 Network members, potential members, funders, sponsors, and other interested parties. It presents a recommended path forward, highlights organizational considerations, and encourages collective support of this exciting new trajectory.

Published: December 2020

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Skill & Competency Data Translation and Analysis

Skills and competencies are the currency of the labor market. They describe all the things an individual can do which can be observed, measured, or otherwise assessed. Skills and competencies can include any range of knowledge and abilities, from “graphic design” to “bending and threading conduits,” and more. By 2030, employers are expected to require increasingly cognitive, technological, and interpersonal skills and competencies, as opposed to manual labor and basic skills. This shift presents a challenge for our current and future workforce. In a study of 500 U.S. human resource (HR) professionals, 74% agreed there is already a skills gap, a difference between the skills that employers need and the skills that job seekers possess.

This report summarizes takeaways from the T3 Network Phase 2 projects focused on competency-based learning and hiring, and serves as a reference for using technology in conjunction with skills and competency data to improve efficiency and outcomes. Skills and competencies form the foundation of a more adaptive and resilient labor market. Implementing the recommendations in this report will provide the labor market with the potential for an inclusive digital transformation. 

Published: December 2020

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Applying Self-Sovereign Identity Principles to Interoperable Learning Records 

The term “self-sovereign” arises from the term self-sovereign identity (SSI), which is associated with both a set of technical standards and a set of community promulgated principles seeking to enable a shift towards more individual control over their digital identities and personal data. The design of SSI-type systems provides a lens to examine how we might restructure such systems to be more equitable giving learners better access to, and control over, the management of their learning records while maintaining the verifiability of this data. 

SSI technologies and concepts can provide valuable insights to jumpstart efforts and provide opportunities to improve the talent marketplace for all learners and stakeholders. This paper further provides technical details of SSI standards and technologies to describe how implementers can begin applying technical solutions to promote self-sovereign management of individual-level data records.

Published: June 2020

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Executive Summary


Model Roles & Processes in Standards Development

Both data standards and the standards development organizations (SDO) that develop, set, and maintain standards have grown in quantity and use over the years. This has been especially true for data standards relevant to the dynamic talent marketplace addressed by the T3 Innovation Network (T3 Network).

The focus of this paper is the U.S. approach to standards development and its application to data standards used in the talent marketplace by education and workforce partners. This paper complements and builds on the “Public-Private Standards Development and Use by Government for the Talent Marketplace” paper by further exploring the key roles of public and private stakeholders in the standards development process including employers, government agencies, and education, training and credentialing organizations with a special focus on the role of the business owner—who represent the process owners of their organization’s work, product, or solution and anyone that has a use case important to their work. This paper outlines and explains a model approach for standards development to clarify when and how business owners and technical participants from stakeholder organizations should participate in the process to maintain the necessary balance for achieving results that matter to both public and private stakeholders.

Published: April 2020

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Public-Private Standards Development and Use by Government

The United States has developed a unique public-private approach to standards development and use. As data from public and private sources is increasingly leveraged to address challenges in the talent marketplace it is more important than ever to break down silos within and across sectors. The T3 Network is exploring how the unique U.S. approach to standards development can be most effectively applied. 

This paper makes recommendations on how to further strengthen public and private collaboration in the development and use of voluntary consensus standards. It includes recommendations for implementing guidelines reflected in A-119 and the leading practices of existing standards development organizations (SDOs) as well as federal and state policy. It also recommends the formation of a public-private standards collaborative (SC) with a work plan that promotes the benefits of public-private collaboration, strengthens government engagement at all levels, and addresses immediate opportunities to show impact starting with work on comprehensive learner/worker/military records.

Published: December 2019

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Phase One Report

Competency is the new currency.

This report summarizes and brings to a close phase one of the T3 Network. The report is divided into two parts. Part I focuses on the T3 Network’s vision, guiding principles, and profiles the work groups. FInal reports from each of the work groups can be found below.

Part II highlights the T3 Network’s recommendations, organized as a list of pilot projects that together provide the foundation for an open, distributed, public-private data infrastructure that supports access and opportunity for the American student and worker. The report concludes with next steps and acknowledgements.

Published: October 2018

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In early 2018, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Lumina Foundation launched the T3 Innovation Network to bring businesses, postsecondary institutions, technical standards organizations, and human resource professionals and their technology vendors together to explore emerging Web 3.0 technologies in an increasingly open and decentralized public-private data ecosystem.

The Network has since grown from a kickoff meeting of 60 individuals to a thriving network of over 300 organizations. In its first six months of existence, the T3 Innovation Network held ten webinars, produced a background paper, four work group reports (see below), and identified 50 use cases resulting in ten pilot projects, which are being addressed in Phase Two of the project.

The T3 Network has become the go-to space to explore new and emerging technologies—such as Semantic Web, AI, machine learning, and distributed ledger technologies—and to advance recommendations for an open, shared data infrastructure for learners and workers alike.

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T3 Network Guiding Principles

  1. Focus on High-Impact Stakeholder Use Cases
  2. Promote Web 3.0 Convergence
  3. Foster Open Collaboration
  4. Develop Open Technical Standards and Protocols
  5. Utilize Open Competency Frameworks, Taxonomies, and Ontologies
  6. Empower Individuals and Enable Self-Sovereign Identity and Data Management
  7. Facilitate Open Data Access in Public-Private Data Infrastructure
  8. Promote Ethical Practices and Equity Considerations

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