Talent Pipeline Management: An Employer-Led Solution to Close the Skills Gap

In 2014, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and USA Funds launched the Talent Pipeline Management initiative in response to America’s skills gap. Right now, if the country does nothing, an estimated 6 million jobs will be vacant by 2020 because companies are unable find employees with the skills they need to fill the positions. And the problem stems from the lack of conversation between employers and the education system that is readying the incoming workforce. The Talent Pipeline Management initiative is helping employers take a leading role in closing the skills gap. “We used to rely on schools to include employers as part of their strategic plans, but now we realize the answer is empowering employers to drive partnerships with the schools that are best meeting their needs,” says Thomas J. Donohue, President & CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The initiative is also challenging the education system to redefine what it means to be career ready. “We have to be out front, on the cutting edge with business and industry with enhanced programs that meet the needs of business and industry,” says Ray Frederick, chairman of the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority. Donohue calls this effort not just an initiative, but a movement. So far, the Talent Pipeline Management initiative has reached over half the country and hundreds of businesses in just under two years. “We can’t wait to see where it takes us next,” says Donohue.