TPM: Solving Regional Workforce Needs

The U.S. has a simple problem: people without jobs and jobs without people. In response to this observation, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has established a workforce development framework called Talent Pipeline Management (TPM).  

Made up of six strategies, the framework provides employers with a data- and performance-driven approach to identify, develop, and source talent for in-demand and high-growth occupations. The structure is built on the industry’s best practices and is authentically employer led. TPM provides the structure and process that enables collective decision-making and, based on the data that comes from the participating employers themselves, helps create the action that comes from the identified obstacles.

In a recent article, Rosa Santana, CEO of Santana Group, shared her firsthand experience as a staffing provider struggling with the misalignment between talent supply and in-demand roles and encouraged businesses to unite and join together solve the collective challenge.

“Business owners depend on a sustainable talent pipeline to create long-lasting employment opportunities. We will only be successful if we are directly involved in this process. By sharing our workforce needs and aligning on a solution with educators and training providers, we can bridge the divide and enable high-demand industries and our talent to thrive.”

– Rosa Santana, CEO of Santana Group

greater:SATX, through its workforce development program, SA WORX, implemented the framework in May of 2022 to work directly with employers to address career readiness, career awareness, and 21st century marketable skills.

greater:SATX’s Workforce Development Director, Christopher Mammen, recently spoke about how the Talent Pipeline Management process has been going in the Greater San Antonio region.

How has greater:SATX approached Talent Pipeline Management efforts?

greater:SATX knew we wanted to focus on 5 industries based on the makeup of our largest regional employers: Manufacturing, Healthcare, Construction, Finance, and, Information Technology/Cyber. With some of our strongest employer relationships in the manufacturing industry, we decided to focus our initial TPM Collaboratives to help find solutions for the industry’s constant struggle to hire entry-level and a skilled workforce. 19 manufacturing employers have already trusted us in the process and their partnership helped us develop the best practices for introducing additional industry collaboratives in the future.

As we kicked off the manufacturing collaborative in May of 2022, we entered the conversation thinking a majority of the need would focus on higher education and training opportunities. Over the course of the sessions, we realized a great need was also in general career awareness and readiness, including a focus on K-12 outreach with possible teacher externships.

Has anything accelerated the TPM process?

The City of San Antonio’s Ready to Work program helped us develop and manage these efforts faster. We were already focused on launching TPM for Manufacturing and Healthcare, and due to our community’s $200 million workforce investment, we knew we had to quickly launch collaboratives for all our priority industries. Since the initial Manufacturing and Healthcare Collaboratives in May 2022, we launched collaboratives for Construction & Skilled Trades (November 2022), Finance (December 2022), and IT & Cybersecurity (December 2022).

We could not have done this alone! With the support of great partnerships including industry associations, chambers, and employer champions we are seeing extended community support and confidence in the TPM model.

What have you learned so far?

It’s not easy!

“Strategy 0” is centered on community support and buy-in and is one of the most important steps within the framework.

We have ensured that everyone understands this is not a short-term fix, but really a defined process for longer term solutions. Employers are used to collaborative meetings that end with immediate solutions or next steps that only really serve as Band Aids. TPM isn’t that. That does not mean there are not some immediate solutions that can be identified, but we do need the reminder that we are developing generational change through the model.

Some feedback we have received so far was that the employers did not anticipate it to be so structured with as defined of steps. We take that as positive feedback!

Over the past 9 months, greater:SATX completed the “first phase” of the TPM model for Manufacturing and Healthcare. We are now moving onto a new phase in the TPM Framework, where we facilitate conversations around alignment between employers with K-12 district CTE programs, workforce partners, and higher education & training providers. Over the coming months, these external stakeholders will have a two-way conversation with employers to align employer needs to ensure we are developing a workforce that is ready for a career and not just a job.

“The Talent Pipeline Management framework is different than other employer convenings because it provides a forum for companies that normally compete for labor to discuss current challenges in hiring and strategizing future growth/development of our community workforce. I anticipate that developing a sustainable model in community workforce development will be a “big win” for the San Antonio region.”

– Tony Magaro, Director of Human Resources at Southwest Research Institute

Check out some more of the major findings in the latest TPM Snapshot.


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greater:SATX, 112 East Pecan Street, Suite 2635, San Antonio, TX 78205