New Congress Should Get the Talent Pipeline Flowing

This week, the new 114th Congress convened with Republicans in control of both chambers for the first time since 2007. One of the first items on the House’s agenda is a bill to approve a pipeline that is estimated to have the potential to create more than 40,000 jobs.

The bill in question is the Keystone Pipeline, a source of controversy; yet, it got me thinking about another pipeline of particular importance to American businesses, employers and workers – the talent pipeline.

For many years, employers have noted the existence of a skills gap, a trend that persists according to Manpower Group. Very recently, the human resources consultancy reported its 2014 survey results, which finds that 40 percent of U.S. employers reported experiencing difficulty filling jobs due to lack of available talent.

The following are the 10 most difficult jobs to for employers to fill:

  • Trade workers
  • Restaurant and hotel staff
  • Sales representatives
  • Teachers
  • Drivers
  • Accounting and finance staff
  • Laborers
  • IT Staff
  • Engineers
  • Nurses

During the great recession, many businesses hemorrhaged jobs and employers slashed internal training budgets. Now, the Herman Group finds that many employers understand the importance of the talent pipeline and are taking steps to get it flowing again. Furthermore, it forecasts that many employers will start to focus more attention on recruiting people who are prepared to fill the jobs for today and tomorrow.

While last year, Congress finally passed long-overdue legislation (the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) to update the nation’s job training system, additional opportunities – in job training, education, financial wellness, and support services – remain for the new 114th Congress to promote, stimulate, and invest in the work being done to get the nation’s talent pipeline flowing at full capacity. Goodwill® stands ready to work with policymakers to ensure that workers have the talents and skills that employers seek.