Argues for a bold business-led approach to close the skill gap within the present workforce.

The report highlights the issue of the growing skill gap within the American workforce and calls for greater employer engagement and innovative solutions to close this gap. “The business community must be involved in more effective ways if the skills gap is to be closed. To that end, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is championing a new vision for employer engagement with education and workforce systems, one that yields more effective transitions into employment for students and improved career advancement for workers.

“In undertaking this task, we must accept a hard but undeniable truth—the nation’s current approach to skills development is no longer capable of meeting the needs of a rapidly changing business environment. Employers can no longer afford to wait for others to find a solution; rather, they must play a leadership role in exploring new public-private approaches to closing the skills gap.

This new approach—talent pipeline management—argues that employers can close the skills gap by applying lessons learned from supply chain management. These lessons point to the need for major changes for both employers and their partners. They provide guidance in how employers can close the skills gap by scaling leading employer practices and forging new types of partnerships with education and workforce providers. Although [the authors] are not the first to suggest the application of supply chain thinking to skills development, [they] believe talent pipeline management represents a bold departure from prior practice and a novel approach for addressing the inadequacies of the current system” (p.4).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“Absent a new approach, the skills gap will continue to undermine American competitiveness, and the American dream will remain beyond the reach of many in our society. What is needed now is bold leadership and transformational change, not quick fixes that otherwise distract from what everyone knows and feels today—that our education and workforce systems are broken and fail to optimize value for employers as well as for students and workers. This new approach responds to the needs of a changing business environment. Employers can no longer wait for a solution to be delivered to them. By applying lessons learned from innovations in supply chain management to employer-led education and workforce partnerships, we can begin today to improve employment transitions and economic mobility for students and workers while providing employers with the talent they need to compete and grow in our economy” (p.31). (Abstractor: Author)