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Despite historically low unemployment and a growing economy, hiring skilled workers remains a challenge in many of our nation’s key industries, such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, and healthcare. We know America’s young people have talent. Now it’s time to embrace the tools necessary to more effectively discover and guide that emerging talent to high demand careers.
America is in need of a new pathway to opportunity, one where employers, government, and learners share in the risk of talent development. Our current education and training systems are struggling to align to the changing workforce development needs of the economy, and there is a need for expanded leadership and investment from the business community. We need a new approach that will create shared value and more effective pathways to employment. Now is the time to act.
That work is going well and is spurring a more comprehensive transformation of the public schools and greater alignment between higher education programs and business needs. But the payoff is long term. Meanwhile, manufacturers have more immediate skill needs that are not being met. So, ConxusNEO is now focusing on those needs as well. The starting point for meeting those immediate skill needs is reliable and actionable information about which jobs are most difficult to fill and what skills those jobs require. But that information turns out to be in short supply, creating a missing link at a crucial point in the talent supply chain. Enter, the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) Initiative.
As the U.S. economy struggles to break out of economic stagnation, these investments in the different phases of education are indeed crucial, however greater attention should be paid to the role adult education programs play in sustaining and growing American commerce. Only by making these success stories more public and well known can we better position adult education advocates to make their case and secure financial resources for these vital adult education programs.
Although U.S. high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, many employees enter the workforce without the skills that are truly needed to succeed. Recent studies show that essential soft skills such as punctuality, organization, and interpersonal communication are just as important as the hard skills, which now are seen as a basic minimum necessary in order to operate in a particular workplace.
In our special edition report, released in hard copy at the 2017 USCCF hosted America Working Forward event, through research, data, and case studies we discuss the complexity of the skills gap and those who are paving the way forward.
From Baton Rouge to Grand Rapids, Austin to Atlanta, and finishing up in Frankfort last month, our 2017 five-city childcare roadshow is complete. We brought together business leaders, policy makers, advocates, and practitioners to discuss the critical role of high-quality early education and care in advancing the workforce of today, and the workforce of tomorrow. The events were a great success and in each state, an energized business community is eager and ready to take the lead in advancing this conversation in their own community.
For years, there has been a disconnect between what businesses want new employees to know before they show up for work and what the applicant pool actually knows. The TPM initiative puts employers in the driver’s seat of workforce partnerships for demand-driven workforce solutions. And it’s working for states like Houston, Kansas, and Kentucky, with success stories from Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona soon to come.