On Thursday, education leaders from the multiple Kentucky school districts met in Bowling Green to hear about the Talent Pipeline Management system and decide if the program is a good fit for helping to identify how many teachers are needed, how to recruit them, and how to get more people interested in the profession.
In partnership with Kentucky’s Workforce and Education Cabinet, Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) is a program administered by the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center to create collaboratives by bringing together employers from all of the state’s key industries to find solutions to workforce issues and build a better talent pipeline.
With industry collaboratives now up and running across the state within sectors including manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, construction, equine, and other areas, a discussion then began about the struggle faced in Kentucky to find teachers to fill the positions and to stay in the roles.
Some of the conversations revolved around the fact that fewer and fewer people even being interested in entering the profession of teaching in recent years as well as a decline in completion of getting an education degree and an increase in people leaving the profession before retirement.
Brian Lovell of Union County Public Schools stated many school districts are starting the school year without teachers in the classrooms. Lovell also stated while educators in Kentucky are good at sharing data and knowledge with each other to know where the holes are, the TPM tool could help use data-driven approaches to how to find solutions for the shortage and fill the gaps.
Because of these issues, superintendents and education leaders have decided to engage in TPM with a pilot project to understand both the supply and demand of the profession.
Josh Williams, TPM System Leader with the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center, said that while this is not just a Kentucky problem, there is no reason Kentucky should not be the state to find solutions to this issue within the profession.
He added this effort will be focused around changing the discussion from why is Kentucky not getting enough teachers to where is the pipeline broken and how do we fix it and to do that, he said, work has to be driven at the local level.
Now that the educators have committed to engaging in this process to find employment solutions, work will begin for the pilot project in the region by gathering data about where the gaps exist from schools in the area to begin crafting solutions.