For five years, the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation has been convening Workforce Collaboratives to encourage employer-led conversations driven towards closing the skills gap in the Greater Phoenix region. With collaboratives focused on advanced manufacturing, construction, cybersecurity, financial services, health care, and information technology (IT), each group is committed to engaging in more than just talk; they are driving action.
The unique aspect of these collaboratives is that employers, who are often fierce market competitors, have united to address the challenges of their industries as partners working towards a common goal. While each collaborative has unique strategic objectives, the overarching goals include:
- Increasing opportunities for employers to engage with students, educators, and partners to develop stronger talent pipelines
- Aligning education and training programs with employer needs
- Providing career awareness for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand careers.
In each of these efforts, the Collaboratives are committed to increasing opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds by leveraging partnerships with organizations that are serving a broad range of individuals from a variety of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.
Build Your Future Arizona (BYF Arizona): The Construction Collaborative came together to launch BYF Arizona in October 2019 to raise awareness of careers in construction and connect job seekers with employers. BYF Arizona focused on inclusive recruitment across demographics, featuring videos of women in construction and launching the website in Spanish as well as English. Many more highlights can be seen in the BYF Arizona Annual Report!
Specialty Nursing Training Program: Within the health care sector, the Hospital Collaborative partnered to upskill 84 nurses through the Maricopa Community Colleges Specialty Nursing Training Program. This effort could potentially produce up to 400 additional graduates by 2021. Over half of the program participants who were upskilled into Critical Care represented minority groups. By upskilling current nurses, this program opens entry-level positions vital to the nursing ecosystem as new graduates enter the workforce.
Apprenti Arizona: Within the realm of Cybersecurity and Information Technology (IT), the Foundation launched Apprenti Arizona. This mid-level IT apprenticeship program focuses on recruiting women, people of color, and veterans to meet industry demand. In the initial pilot program with SRP, the Foundation supported nine Native American employees from the Navajo Generating Station decommissioning in Page, AZ to retrain into IT business analyst roles. Check out the blog written by SRP to learn about where these employees are now!
Securities Industry Essentials Exam Prep: The Financial Services Collaborative came together to explore the feasibility for prospective employees to complete initial training towards licensing prior to employment in entry-level financial services roles. The group started by focusing on the Series 7 exam, and next zeroed in on the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. The Financial Industry Training (FIT) was launched by the collaborative and prepared 65 individuals for the SIE. With a focus on increasing diversity in the industry, three out of four participants represented minority groups. After managing the FIT program, the Foundation transitioned the program to Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). MCCCD now provides training to pass the SIE exam prep program through a for-credit course at Scottsdale Community College, with plans to expand across the district in the coming years.
While these programs and initiatives each have a unique focus, none would be possible without the relentless support of employers who are committed to fostering a strong, sustainable workforce throughout Arizona.
Interested in getting involved? Contact us!
–Written by Brittany Holmes, Senior Community Relations Manager