Janelle Tassart

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December 4, 2019


PHOENIX – The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation  (the Foundation) wrapped up the Talent Pipeline Management® (TPM) Upskill Academy of Arizona, which started on April 22, 2019. Participants completed the program on October 2, 2019, after a series of interactive learning sessions over six months.

“We were proud to be the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s partner in launching the TPM Upskill Academy of Arizona,” said Todd Sanders, Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation president and CEO. “The individuals who participated and completed the program are stewards of the communities they represent and will do great work with the knowledge they’ve acquired through this program.”

Last spring, the Foundation received a grant from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to launch the first-ever TPM Upskill Academy in Arizona. The Foundation solicited applications from workforce and community partners, chambers of commerce, and economic development organizations from across the state who were committed to applying the TPM® curriculum and launching successful and sustainable workforce collaboratives in their communities.

In total, 19 individuals representing 15 organizations graduated from the Academy.

“The inaugural class of the TPM Upskill Academy of Arizona made impressive strides in learning and fully understanding the TPM model and how to use data to better align industry and education,” said Jennifer Mellor, Chief Innovation Officer of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation. “With the first program complete, I look forward to seeing how each graduate works to create stronger talent pipelines in their communities.”

During the six-month program, participants developed the tools to create a local workforce collaborative to move their region forward.

“The TPM Academy provided a long-sought-after solution to the disconnect between employers and educators we so often see in workforce development,” said Liza Noland, Director of Rural Programs for Local First Arizona Foundation.  “The Academy team presented this tool in a way that was easy to adopt and exciting to bring to our region. Through the TPM methodology, we can see a clear path in how our organization may be able to make true, systemic change in workforce development for rural Arizona.”

The TPM Upskill Academy provided participants with an understanding of TPM principles, a framework for how to convene and activate the appropriate stakeholders, and establish an outline for continuing this work in their communities.  Graduated participants are now equipped to execute a demand-driven, employer-led approach to close the skills gap in Arizona.

“Because employer training needs vary, the TPM Upskill Academy presents a customizable framework for employers to create solutions that directly address the challenges they face in building high-performing talent pipelines,” said Jason Tyszko, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “We congratulate the graduates of the first TPM Upskill Academy and look forward to how these 15 organizations will apply what they have learned to improve career pathways for the workforce in Arizona.”

Congratulations to the TPM Upskill Academy of Arizona graduates:


  • Arizona@Work Maricopa County, Business Services Supervisor, Kevin Dumcum
  • Arizona@Work Maricopa County, Workforce Development Coordinator, Heath Anderson
  • Arizona State University, University Innovation Fellow, Lukas Wenrick
  • Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Deanna Kupcik
  • Center for Future of Arizona (CFA), Project Manager, Retail Sector Initiative, Orlando Cazarez
  • Center for Future of Arizona (CFA), Director, Retail Sector Initiative, Holly Kurtz
  • Eloy Chamber, CEO, Mark Benner
  • Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of Workforce and Community Partnerships, Sarah Watts
  • Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, Workforce Development Manager, Brittany Holmes
  • Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, Workforce Development Manager, Kimberly Vegliante
  • Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Lisa Krueger
  • Local First AZ, Director of Rural Programs, Liza Noland
  • Maricopa County Community College District, District Director for Workforce Development, Julie Stiak
  • Parker Area Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director, Mary Hamilton
  • Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Chris Clark
  • Tucson Metro Chamber, Vice President, Michael Guymon
  • WESTMARC, Director of Business Operations and Strategy, Kimberly Jordan
  • West-MEC, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Specialist, Aaron Parsons
  • West-MEC, Director of Career Services, Katie Mehin

Learn more about who is involved with TPM nationally here.


About the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation

Launched in 2016, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation carries out charitable and education objectives by conducting research, forming partnerships and hosting events focused on education, workforce development, wellness, and community development.

About the Greater Phoenix Chamber

Representing 2,400 businesses across the Greater Phoenix region, the Greater Phoenix Chamber promotes regional prosperity by serving as a catalyst for economic vitality and strong communities. The Chamber pursues this mission by collaborating with business, political and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool, creating a regional approach to economic development and drive a pro-Arizona agenda.   

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