The Triad Workforce Solutions Collaborative (TWSC) is a growing Funders Collaborative based in Greensboro, NC with the goals of facilitating career advancement for workers and developing a more skilled and stable workforce for employers.
This Collaborative emerged from the Greensboro Works Task Force – a group of business, community, and nonprofit leaders convened by The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and United Way of Greater Greensboro. The Task Force’s primary goal was to help the community develop a cooperative, informed and shared vision for the long-term economic success of our residents.
In 2017, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce began serving as the site director for TWSC in collaboration with the High Point Chamber of Commerce, while the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro remains the fiscal agent of TWSC.
About the National Fund for Workforce Solutions
The National Fund is a vibrant network of businesses, workers, public and private funders, and local and national leaders striving to serve American workers and businesses. The National Fund invests in new approaches to connect individuals to new skills and careers and to support businesses in finding the critical talent they need to succeed. Read more about their work here.
Greater Greensboro Workforce Development Survey
Commissioned by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the Human Resources Management Association of Greensboro, and the Greensboro-High Point Guilford County Workforce Development Board, the 2012 Greater Greensboro Workforce Development Survey focused on five important industry segments, and included most of the larger businesses in the Greater Greensboro area. The Survey greatly informed the work of the Greensboro Works Task Force.
The survey asked 400 local businesses about their hiring experiences and whether they had any “difficult-to-fill” jobs; 79 % agreed that they were having a hard time finding qualified applicants for a number of positions. “From the responding companies, we learned there are certain skills that were difficult to find in the recruiting process, thus making some jobs a challenge to fill with local job candidates,” says Lillian Plummer, Executive Director of the Greensboro-High Point Guilford County Workforce Development Board. Some of the most difficult-to-find skills included:
- Industry specific certifications
- Machining and skilled trades
- Financial analysis
Additionally, there are “soft skills” that employers considered lacking in the local labor force, most notably communication skills as well as analytical thinking skills. The survey reveals that the gap in skills required for available jobs can result in delays in filling positions, as well as the need to sometimes recruit outside the Triad to find qualified candidates. Survey respondents identified 1,775 “difficult-to-fill” jobs, with 60% being filled by local employees, 37% by candidates from outside the Triad, and 3% going unfilled.
Of the 1,775 difficult-to-fill jobs, we saw a definite divide between the types of jobs and the length of time required to make a qualified hire. A majority of the difficult-to-fill jobs included in the survey were filled within 6 months and were primarily filled by local candidates. These jobs were mostly in business administration, customer service, and healthcare generally paying $40,000 or higher. Contrasting those findings with the jobs that took much longer to fill – from 6 to 18 months – these jobs were primarily filled with candidates from outside our region or by outsourcing the work. Most of these jobs were in the Innovative Manufacturing and Aviation clusters and required highly technical skills such as engineering, machining, and information technology. Salaries for these jobs were $50,000 and higher.
Recommended solutions included continuing to focus and strengthen career and technical educational offerings and partnerships between education and businesses – especially STEM disciplines. There is a lack of understanding of the career opportunities in manufacturing – this will take marketing and education to dispel. We also need to increase and strengthen the link between community colleges and businesses experiencing workforce challenges to identify common themes and develop specialized training programs.
In March of 2014, the Community Foundation hired a dedicated director to develop and support the Funders Collaborative and the Business-led Stakeholders Coalition. In April, the Collaborative was named the Triad Workforce Solutions Collaborative (TWSC) and in May, NFWS site approval was received. In June of 2014, a contingent of nineteen business leaders along with education and nonprofit workforce development service providers and funders attended the NFWS annual meeting at which TWSC was recognized as a new NFWS site. TWSC participants meet monthly to hear about programs on best practices in workforce development and planning is in progress to attract funds for 2015 that can be granted locally to support innovative workforce development programs in our community.