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"War for Talent" Spurs Businesses to Extend Talent Pipelines into High Schools

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Seven years ago, IBM realized that their talent pipeline strategy needed an overhaul. Like a poorly managed pension fund, the output it was generating would eventually be outstripped by an ever-increasing need for specific skills and knowledge; their system was no longer a long-term solution. It needed a fix before it all came crashing down.

"There's a war for talent across all our competitors,” said IBM Foundation President Jennifer Ryan Crozier, “We know we're going to need a lot of different pathways to bring talent in.”

So in 2011, IBM became the first “P-Tech” business, partnering with a Brooklyn high school and the City University of New York. The intended outcome? To produce qualified candidates for the types of jobs which IBM knows will face critical talent shortages in the future.

P-Tech is a six-year academic and vocational tech program which allows students in grades 9 through 14 to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree while also gaining relevant work experience in emerging fields.

Since 2011, more than 400 additional organizations such as Motorola, Verizon, and Dow Chemical have joined IBM in this exponentially-expanding experiment with over 80 high schools across the country. The companies offer input on the curriculum, bring students on site, pair them with employee mentors, and offer paid internships.

These organizations know they are on the cutting edge of talent pipeline management. The investments they are making today have placed them on the inside track, and are putting them in prime position to attract the skilled workers which these programs aim to produce in the years to come. In most cases, it’s the first professional contact these students ever experience.

"This is about preparing the next generation of the workforce," Crozier says. "It's not a short-term fix for roles we have open today," she said.

Of course, not every organization has the vast resources of Verizon, Dow, or Big Blue to develop such robust recruiting programs.

That is where STEM Premier levels the playing ground.

By utilizing the STEM Premier platform, companies and organizations can tap into a digital environment of hundreds of thousands of high school students across the country. You can connect and build relationships with these students - the same way that IBM does - without investing millions of dollars to do it.

New Business Spotlight: Tidelands Health

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Tidelands Health is committed to more than just its patients. It is also committed to its employees and communities. Comprised of three hospitals, more than fifty outpatient locations, and over 2,000 employees and physician partners, Tidelands Health is one of coastal South Carolina’s largest healthcare systems. It is also one of the newest organizations to join STEM Premier's growing network as it seeks to build relationships with South Carolina students interested in pursuing the healthcare vocation.  . 

Tideland Health’s mission of helping people live better lives through better health began more than sixty years ago in Georgetown, SC. In 1946, citizens of Georgetown committed to constructing a hospital to serve the local community. That commitment came to life in 1950, when the first patient was admitted at Georgetown County Memorial Hospital - later to become Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. Since then, the hospital has expanded and two additional hospitals have become a part of the system: Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Waccamaw Rehabilitation Hospital. Over its sixty-year history, the system has provided healthcare to countless patients.

While its patients are always the #1 priority, Tidelands Health also prioritizes and invests in its employees. “We are focused on creating an environment where professional development is encouraged, innovation is rewarded and a healthy work-life balance is nurtured,” explains Busy Kimball, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Tidelands Health.

That's why Tidelands Health wants to be known amongst South Carolina’s students - and future healthcare professionals - so that they consider it when planning their futures. “We are excited to partner with STEM Premier and believe it will help us deepen our relationship within the region by introducing Tidelands Health to members of the community at a young age,” says Busy. “Though this partnership, we will provide financial support and educational opportunities to prepare young people in our area for a future in health care.”

These educational opportunities include internships, mentorships, and shadowing so that students can get first-hand experiences of what it’s like to work for Tidelands. The goal is to connect interested young students with experts in health-related fields and introducing them to the large variety of career paths available in healthcare.  

Busy says that prospective employees of should be self-driven and open-minded. “Tidelands Health is looking for self-motivated individuals with an interest in health care, a positive, customer service-focused attitude and a sense of pride in their work,” she explains. “In addition, we choose to support and hire individuals who demonstrate an openness to diversity and project a sense of inclusion for individuals unlike themselves.”

By prioritizing these criteria in their hiring process, Tidelands Health has built a network of professionals who are ready and willing to engage outside of the workplace. For prospective employees, becoming part of Tidelands Health also means becoming a part of the community. “Beyond our hospitals,” says Busy, “we partner with the community to deliver health and wellness services. Through the Tidelands Health Sports Medicine Institute, for example, we fund athletic trainers in area high schools...and our Tidelands Community Care Network, a regional collaborative of more than 30 community service organizations, churches, associations and state agencies, connects our region’s uninsured and underinsured residents with medical care and critical services such as food, housing and transportation.”

STEM Premier is excited to welcome Tidelands Health to our network, and we look forward to the enhanced engagement it will provide for students pursuing professions in healthcare; such as those involved with our partner HOSA.