Arizona Chamber Foundation Selected by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and USA Funds to Join Learning Network to Close the Skills Gap

Arizona Chamber Foundation to Pilot-Test Talent Pipeline Management Practices

WASHINGTON, DC— The Arizona Chamber Foundation was selected today as one of seven regional partners to participate in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management initiative to close the skills gap in America. Launched in November 2014, the initiative seeks to transform the relationship between America’s businesses, educators and workforce providers by pilot-testing strategies and practices that have been successful in improving products and services to address challenges in the talent pipeline related to recruiting, hiring and retaining employees.

The Arizona Chamber Foundation is the public policy research arm of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“This initiative is focused on new approaches to ensuring employers have the skilled workforce they need to compete in the 21st century and employees have the education and credentials required to do the work,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Vice President Cheryl Oldham. “With 5 million vacant jobs in the United States, the frustration level has understandably reached a new high among businesses desperate for skilled workers and with students who want to know that their education and skills training will lead to a good job and future success.”

The Talent Pipeline Management learning network (“learning network”) will operate like a new product test team, experimenting with different strategies and innovative practices to confirm what works and what doesn’t. Each partner within the learning network will pilot one or more of the following talent pipeline practices:

  • organizing new collaboratives that manage employer engagement;
  • identifying the type and amount of talent needed;
  • determining the competency and credentialing requirements for those positions;
  • identifying where businesses get their best talent today;
  • designating preferred providers and measuring their performance; and
  • incentivizing continuous improvement.

“We are thrilled to have been selected to participate in the Talent Pipeline Management initiative,” Arizona Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “We want to help policymakers and the business community better understand why filling so many available, good-paying jobs is such a challenge for employers, and help identify which strategies for attracting and retaining talent work best.”

In the coming months, the work of the Arizona Chamber Foundation, along with its peer organizations in the learning network, will build on the knowledge base outlined in a recently released white paper by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, “Managing the Talent Pipeline: A New Approach to Closing the Skills Gap”. Providing support to employers in playing the role of an “end-customer” in a talent supply chain will impart critical insight into what works and what’s potentially scalable.

“The Arizona Chamber Foundation clearly demonstrates a commitment to better aligning the workforce with the demands of the marketplace,” said USA Funds President and CEO William “Bill” Hansen. “This second phase of work is where we can really make an impact closing the skills gap not only in Arizona, but across America.”

The U.S. Chamber Foundation will invest both dollars through grants and manpower through planning and implementation, technical and expert assistance, and opportunities to participate in workshops and online webinars. The research and input collected from the learning network will help complete the development of a talent pipeline management toolkit that will be released nationwide in the fall and available to employers to adopt.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.

USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

The Arizona Chamber Foundation 501(c)(3) is a non-partisan, objective educational and research foundation. The Foundation produces research studies on Arizona public policy issues such as the state budget and taxation, education, health care, regulation, energy, and others in an effort to inform policy makers, business leaders, and the general public. Learn more

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