People are the most valuable resource for businesses. Creating a talent pipeline allows companies to succeed, expand and compete in our ever-evolving business world. Despite our country’s large workforce, 45% of small businesses struggle to find employees with the skills they need (ManpowerGroup’s 2018 Talent Shortage Survey). To remain innovative and competitive, businesses need to reach local talent early.
The greater Arlington business community knows that investing in the future workforce of our City results in higher paying jobs, more qualified workers and overall better quality of life for all citizens. Accomplishing a goal so robust and multifaceted requires a dedicated team of volunteers. Lucky for us, we have the Partners in Education (PIE) program working behind the scenes to bridge the gap between the business community and the educational process.
A partnership between the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Arlington Independent School District (AISD), PIE brings business leaders and educators together to offer a continuum of career exploration and mentorship beginning in elementary school and ending with an internship during their senior year. PIE exclusively serves the AISD and builds a better workforce by exposing AISD students to various industries and career opportunities by implementing several workforce development initiatives in K-12 education.
As business and community leaders, we have a responsibility to develop the next generation by investing time and resources in new and innovative educational programs and initiatives.
“By investing in our students, we are creating the type of future workforce our community needs. We also recognize that student development is only half of the equation,” said Michael Jacobson, Chamber President & CEO, “PIE programs and initiatives would not be successful without the buy-in from our business community.”
Through PIE, businesses can shape the future of their company by building a sustainable talent pipeline. When local businesses engage, they also earn social capital with their employees, clients and customers as a reputable business invested and committed to developing our community’s future. Establishing these relationships serves as a foundation to create open lines of communications which have the power to directly impact curriculum and industry-specific certification programs.
Businesses can engage with PIE through a simple, three-tiered model. Tier 1 of PIE, Show Your Support, involves businesses providing resources or time. This includes collecting school supplies, participating in campus beautification projects and encouraging others to get involved.
Tier 2, Guide Our Youth, encourages business leaders and their employees to get involved by providing guidance and mentorship. This includes volunteering at events such as career fairs, joining a campus group and becoming a mentor or field trip chaperone.
Tier 3, Lead the Change, involves taking an active role in investing in the future of the community. This is where we see the talent pipeline actively working. PIE recruits businesses to be a part of the Practicum Program within the AISD’s Dan Dipert Career + Technical Center where they can host AISD seniors to intern at their business. During the last school year, 184 students were successfully placed with 50 local businesses.
Education is key to our prosperity, and we’re fortunate to have a group like PIE creating mutually beneficial relationships for both students and local businesses. To learn more or get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.