Upskilling Arizona’s workforce

The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation is launching Talent Pipeline Management Upskill Academy of Arizona, and the application to participate is open.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation received a grant from the U.S. Chamber to launch the program, which focuses on people who are already in the workforce.  

“This particular academy is focused on upskilling. So, people that are already in that profession and want to move up in the pipeline,” Jennifer Mellor, Greater Phoenix Chamber chief innovation officer, said.

The program will feature in-person and web-based trainings for a training curriculum designed by the U.S. Chamber Foundation and a board of advisors.

Upskill Academy in Arizona stems from the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM), which was developed by the U.S. Chamber to create avenues for employers to work with education providers to address their talent needs.

While most of TPM’s initiatives focus on people entering certain job functions, TPM Upskill Academy will focus on developing skills for those who are already in the workplace.

“You’ve got a new pipeline of workers that are coming in frequently,” Mellor said. “So, it’s really important to move those employees that have a year or two of experience up in your talent pipeline so that you have an opportunity to bring these new folks on, as well.”

According to Willis Towers Watson, more than 70 percent of high-retention-risk employees say they’ll have to leave their organization to advance their career.

Providing opportunities for employees to develop new skills and advance their career within the workplace can reduce the risk of turnover.

Mellor said the program is beneficial for a variety of organizations, especially organizations that focus on workforce collaboratives.

“They’re the organized groups where you’re bringing businesses together to address their issues. So, we’ve found that chambers and other similar types of associations are really well-positioned to do that work. We will also welcome others to apply and participate,” Mellor said.

Mellor explained that Arizona has a variety of organizations and initiatives in place that promote economic development and workforce development. While they make a positive impact for the workforce, there is often a lack of coordination.

“One of the long-term impacts I think this collaborative can have is it can bring all of this work together,” Mellor said. “And, it will not only educate our chamber executives in the community, but it will also build more collaboration amongst all of our organizations in the area of workforce development.”

The application to participate in TPM Upskill in Arizona is open and available. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 27. Interested organizations from across the state are welcome to apply.

The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation will select the 30 participants and inform them of their acceptance by Wednesday, April 3.

Sierra Ciaramella

1 comment

  • Interesting article. In my opinion, one would think medium to large companies truly interested in employee retention would provide such training internally. In this day and age of switching employers, which is a good thing, employers need to convince or entice employees to stay. Not necessarily the other way around.

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