The Alliance is tackling the workforce development problem

Robyn Ludtke, talent and education manager for the Waukesha County Business Alliance and the Waukesha County Center for Growth, recently participated in the first of three classes facilitated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Pipeline Management Academy in Washington D.C. The Academy cohort included participants from chambers of commerce and economic development organizations from around the country.

The Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) Plan is an employer-led approach that chambers of commerce and economic development organizations can use to encourage the business community to work together by industry to address workforce needs. These employer “collaboratives” will address each industry’s most critical workforce needs using talent supply chain strategies and practices. Over the two-day training in Washington, D.C., three out of six strategies were addressed: organizing employer collaboratives, engaging in demand planning and communicating competency and credential requirements.

Ludtke found that the Alliance is positioned well to advance the following strategies with Waukesha County employers:

Strategy 1: Employer Collaboratives

Industry-focused employer collaboratives show employers how to work together to address workforce needs. Working through a host organization, employers can focus on critical needs, build strong brand recognition, execute clearer communication to the future talent pool and share best practices.

For example, the Alliance started the Waukesha County Manufacturing Alliance in 2010 in response to the critical needs of our manufacturing employers. The Manufacturing Alliance serves as a platform for manufacturers to share ideas, encourage innovation, work together to transform the image of manufacturing and target new talent.

Strategy 2: Demand Planning

Demand planning focuses on how industries project future openings for its most critical jobs and is the first task performed by the employer collaboratives. The TPM approach for demand planning builds on the lessons learned from supply chain management: the end-customer plays an important role by constantly communicating their needs. TPM suggests that employers focus on four key objectives to be evaluated: the quantity of employees needed, the locations where the employees are needed, when the employees are needed and what types of requirements the employees need.

Strategy 3: Competency and Credential Requirements

Communicating competency and credentials requirements is suggested to be implemented alongside demand planning. TPM believes in identifying a variety of ways employers can communicate hiring requirements while remaining consistent with the competency and credential requirements needed for the jobs.

The Alliance’s current three collaboratives will move forward with Strategies 2 and 3 in late 2017. It’s great that Waukesha County is being recognized nationally for our leadership in building our future workforce. We’re excited to see what more we can do in the future after implementing all of the suggested strategies.