Recognizing that talent is a key driver of regional competitiveness, the Tampa Bay Partnership assessed talent indicators for the region and measured these against 19 peer communities. This exercise revealed that the Tampa Bay talent pool lagged its peers, particularly in metrics related to the regional talent pipeline. In response, the Tampa Bay Partnership convened the Regional Talent Working Group, composed of business leaders and employers from across the region, to explore and identify ways to strengthen the regional talent pipeline and, thereby, enhance the region’s competitiveness and prosperity.
The Tampa Bay Partnership, with support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, hired TIP Strategies to facilitate the Working Group and develop an action plan for an employer-led, demand-driven workforce initiative. Over the course of the nine-month engagement, TIP conducted a comprehensive review of the regional workforce and labor market, collected input from more than 60 stakeholders and employers, developed a toolkit to inform business engagement and educational alignment activities, and interviewed practitioners from successful programs across the US. TIP then provided strategic advice on the creation and implementation of Tampa Bay Works, an employer-led, regional initiative that seeks to better align the workforce system with industry to ensure that Tampa Bay businesses have access to the talent they need, and individuals have access to better economic opportunities. To meet this mission, Tampa Bay Works focused its implementation efforts on launching, refining, and scaling demand-driven workforce models in the Tampa Bay market.