AT&T, JAG and the Talent Deficit

In my post yesterday, I suggested that employers will need to start making strategic partnerships with education institutions and economic development organizations, among others, to start dealing with the upcoming acute shortage of workers who have graduated from high school and have some college under their belt.

A great example of this came to my attention yesterday.  On Monday AT&T announced an investment of $250,000,000 over the next five years to improve high school graduation rates.  Here’s how their announcement began:  “ As access to skilled workers becomes increasingly vital to the U.S. economy, AT&T is launching a quarter-billion-dollar campaign to help more students graduate from high school ready for careers and college, and to ensure the country is better prepared to meet global competition.”

Investing in JAG – Jobs for America’s Graduates – is an example of strategic corporate investment in the future of the talent pipeline.  JAG, the most effective program of its kind – is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who are most at-risk.  In more than three decades of operation, JAG has delivered consistent, compelling results – helping nearly three-quarters of a million young people stay in school through graduation, pursue post-secondary education and secure quality entry-level jobs leading to career advancement opportunities.  The kids in the AT&T Aspire video are great examples of JAG at work in the trenches.

Who wouldn’t hire those kids?

I ended my Data Point Tuesday post yesterday with this imperative:  “The sooner talent acquisition professionals and learning/development professionals in organizations begin to work together on workforce planning and tackling the education deficit, the sooner the talent pipeline will begin to be prepared for 46 million new jobs.”

Looks like AT&T is out in front.  Again!



Filed under Aspire, AT&T, China Gorman, Education Deficit, High School Graduation Rates, JAG, Job Creation, Talent pipeline, Uncategorized

3 responses to “AT&T, JAG and the Talent Deficit

  1. Love this China! Thanks so much for sharing. The AT&T Aspire program has been around since 2008 and was launched specifically to combat the nations HS drop-out program and to help support educating our future workforce. We are also HUGE partners with junior achievement and the job shadow program and it goes well beyond the borders of our HR department and is something the entire company is aware of and committed to. My Talent Attraction team has also been working over the past few years to build our strategy around the “emerging workforce” to capitalize on the efforts our company already has in place and take them to the next level with really finding new and innovative ways to truly build a long-term pipeline of talent vs. sourcing. It’s certainly something no one company can do alone and while the return isn’t always immediately tangible to the bottom line or in the form of immediate hires, we can all benefit as employers, as communities, and as people – when we help provide opportunities at this level.

    In case anyone is interested in finding out more, here is a quick fact sheet about AT&T Aspire:

  2. marenhogan

    Great minds lady! This was published today and I said nearly the same thing! “Schools used to train people for jobs. There are lots of hoops to jump through, technical schools, college, business college, apprenticeships, etc. Now there is one clear path to a job and it’s NOT working, especially not with the kinds of technical skills we need. So either sponsor kids with promise via educational channels, build a training program that’s world class OR hire for culture and teach skills within your organization. Best practices are fantastic but they don’t mean a whole lot when the actual talent pool isn’t big enough.” Love seeing this across the country, we’ve got a big skills deficit already in many sectors and we need BIG solutions…

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