One outstanding goal which has emerged directly from our larger mission of growing the Greater Phoenix regional economy from within is identifying and building the pool of qualified talent which our member businesses need.
Businesses generally solve their workforce challenges through some mix of growing the specific workforce they need, enticing trained workers away from each other, and – the worst option – exporting their workforce to another place which meets their current and future needs better than their current location.
Eighty percent of new jobs come from the expansion of existing companies. As an organization focused on fostering success and growth for Arizona businesses, the Chamber places its efforts squarely on growing the workforce right here in Arizona. Accomplishing this goal requires a systemic approach.
One way we’re approaching this problem is through five workforce collaborative groups created through our Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, which combine industry insiders, educators and government to work on solutions tailored for each industry. Industries participating in these efforts include Cybersecurity; Health Care: Hospitals; Compliance and Risk Management; Construction and Financial Services. There are thousands of well-paying careers open in these sectors right now.
These workforce collaboratives were developed using the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) model, as a blueprint. This demand-driven approach uses lessons learned from innovations in supply chain management while calling for employers to play a new and expanded leadership role as “end-customers” of education and workforce partnerships.
TPM works by using a systemic, data-driven approach to developing workforce talent. The method convenes sector-specific employers to discuss their needs, including what factors are holding them back from growing their businesses and what can be done to overcome those barriers. The TPM approach also uses talent pipeline data to encourage training partners to become increasingly responsive to employer needs. The process ultimately provides a smoother and more successful transition to employment for learners.
It doesn’t matter if we have 10,000 open jobs in cybersecurity, health care or construction, we know that ultimately those jobs will either get filled and the company will continue to grow; will remain open and stifle that company’s growth, or will be outsourced to another state and we will lose out while an Arizona company shrinks here and grows somewhere else.
It is our job as economic developers and business community members to remove barriers and implement programs and policies which are responsive to company needs while making it as easy as possible for Arizona companies to flourish.
As we continue to scale up these efforts, we’ll be asking for your thought leadership, guidance and strong support to truly grow our economy from within.