Message from the Board Chair

 OK, I’ve graduated – NOW WHAT?  

As the mother of a second year lawyer and a supervisor of law student clerks in my own practice, I have had an up close and personal look at the challenges businesses face finding properly trained employees.  The young men and women I’ve had the privilege of working with have been bright, academically successful, and hardworking, yet it can take months for them to land that first real job – all because they lack the requisite skills.  From conversations with friends and articles I’ve read, it isn’t just the legal industry that faces this challenge; news articles and reports over the past couple of years in publications like Forbes, U.S. News and World Report and our own Tampa Bay Times, have all focused on the serious efforts afoot at both the national and local levels to address how we can close this gap.   

The approach to solving this challenge that caught my attention, is one being utilized by the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce. The Talent Pipeline Management project, has launched in a few test markets around the country and is meeting with notable success by creating a collaboration between local businesses and local educational organizations to identify the local jobs available in that market and matching up the curriculum that teaches future employees the skills sets to fill them.  I find this idea so appealing because the greater Temple Terrace area is blessed with a number of high schools, colleges and a major university (Go Bulls!!) which provide an excellent opportunity for our businesses to pilot this solution in our own back yard.

Take advantage of the opportunity to introduce your business to those potential new employees by getting involved in career fairs, volunteer to be a guest lecturer (like Great American Teach-In in November), offer paid internships or sponsor consulting assignments or research projects designed to develop skills sets your business may need.  These local educational organizations are members of the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce, and contact information is available in the Chamber directory or through the Chamber office.  Create your own solutions to the skills gap by engaging with the students in our community, introducing them of the great career potential at your company, and guiding them with information on the skills they need to land that first job in your industry.



Sheron Alves Bass
Board Chair