Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce
× Greater Louisville Inc. The Metro Chamber of Commerce

Media Center

August 18, 2021 4:12pm

From the desk of the CEO 8.18.21

Our region’s growing workforce shortage is consistently in the news and evident anywhere you go. The pandemic and its economic impacts are exacerbating these problems, but workforce issues existed in our region long before COVID-19. Access to career mobility is one part of our long-term workforce problem that GLI is addressing through our new Career Acceleration Network.

The Career Acceleration Network is an innovative talent pipeline that connects employers and workforce training providers with participants to help them move from low-wage, low-skilled jobs to higher-skilled jobs with family supporting wages. The goal is to increase access to career mobility for people who may not have the resources for post-secondary education or job-specific training.

The initial employers who stepped up to support the Career Acceleration Network include Baptist Health, Caesars Southern Indiana, the Galt House Hotel, GE Appliances, a Haier Company, Generation Tux, Glowtouch Technologies, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, LG&E and KU Energy, Louisville Geek, Northwest Ordinance Distilling, Norton Healthcare, Rogers Group, Superb IPC, UPS, and voestalpine Roll Forming Co.

The network, which launched less than six weeks ago, has already placed a number of participants into full-time positions. In addition, some participants are in the resume-review process and dozens of participants are in various later stages of finding full-time employment and training.

Our current pilot model has capacity for 15 employers and 150 participants, but we have been surprised at the demand by both businesses and participants.  We were pleased to be asked to drastically scale the program to accommodate more participants and employers and we are working on that now so that we can make a broader impact on the future of our workforce. This program will dramatically change the lives of these participants and it will help ensure a stable pipeline of workers for participating employers.  Our long-term goal is to create an economy and workforce where anyone willing to put in the work can achieve a lucrative and fulfilling career.

Barriers like reliable transportation, affordable childcare, stable housing, and criminal records often keep people from accessing higher-skilled careers, even if they are willing to put in the time to go through skills training. The vision of CAN includes a Barrier Removal Fund to mitigate barriers that keep people out of the workforce.

We are currently talking with Metro Council members and Mayor Fischer to advocate for American Rescue Plan funding to scale the program to hire five additional Navigators to support the program with 75 employers and 2,700 participants and establish the Barrier Removal Fund. We are expanding opportunities within our five established career tracts – business services, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, and technology.

If you and your business are interested in joining the network in the future, fill out the business interest form and we will reach out to discuss how you can be involved in the pipeline. We also have capacity to assist more participants, so please direct interested individuals to our application and our navigator will be in touch with next steps.

To create a workforce for the future, we must connect our workforce with the resources they need to reach their full potential. I hope you will support the Career Acceleration Network by joining as an employer or helping spread the word to participants.