When employers struggle to hire and working-age residents can’t find the training resources they need, a troubling disconnect wreaks havoc on the local economy.
In 2021, Indiana Chamber of Commerce (ICC) found that a whopping 85 percent of employers reported being unable to meet their needs for talent—and that fewer than half of adult Hoosiers had continued their education past high school despite a wealth of training opportunities in the state.
And then they took action, working with Resultant to build a solution that would give Hoosiers an easy way to find training opportunities and employers a tool for finding trained workers. Institute for Workforce Excellence (IWE), a nonprofit subsidiary of ICC, aspired to engage more employers, expand programs and services for employees, and continue to measure outcomes through participant ratings.
Working toward a solution that connects people and opportunity
Having dug into what it knew to be a mismatch of talent and training, IWE had learned what users wanted to know about developing their careers:
IWE would meet those needs through the Talent Resource Navigator (TRN)—a free web application that would serve as a one-stop shop for education and job training opportunities that combines online ease and personalized customer support.
The Talent Resource Navigator identifies resources according to need.
To develop the most appropriate, effective, and authoritative roster of training providers, our team worked with IWE to conduct discovery, including a landscape analysis of talent development programs across Indiana and a review of Indiana’s Eligible Training Provider List. With a clearer understanding of the talent development landscape, we populated more than 300 resource pages within the TRN for its initial launch. The TRN now provides users a more comprehensive list of 585 talent development partners, programs, and promising practices throughout the state.
The web application gives users a clear, intuitive path to the information they need according to their starting point (individual, employer, training provider) or through search, and it offers featured resources on the home page. For individuals, the TRN helps winnow down choices among career coaches or training opportunities.
Employers who use the TRN can find job training funding and utilize a self-assessment tool that helps identify ways to strengthen their talent strategy. They also have access to a wealth of resources for developing internal training programs; these “promising practices” deliver strategy for talent pipeline development and other best practices. And for approved training providers, the TRN provides referrals and compiles user feedback.
Bringing the TRN—and ever-increasing value—to Indiana.
Given that the initial problem it sought to address was a knowledge gap, IWE has been meticulous about ensuring Hoosiers receive a thorough introduction to the TRN. Promotion and instructional webinars have been a big part of the launch, and a roadshow to reach every Department of Workforce Development region in the state, partnering with local and regional economic development groups, nonprofits, and community colleges.
As the TRN continues to develop, IWE intends to bring more user feedback into its road forward to best serve all stakeholders and, ultimately, bring greater opportunity to the state.