Press Releases

Staff Insights

Workforce Report | Look Here: 4 Talent Pipelines

June 14th, 2021

Look Here: 4 Talent Pipelines

Starting in 2019, the Columbus Chamber Foundation identified 4 talent pipelines that were under-represented in the local workforce. We recognize that helping our business community source and hire talent also helps uplift and improve the economy of the entire Region. Connecting our members to these job seekers and the agencies that support them, drives much of our work: educational programming, thought leadership, and workforce-specific Huddles. Let’s take a closer look.

Emerging Talent is defined as those in school or recently graduated from a college/university, adult education, or GED attainment. With over 64,000 students at The Ohio State University and over 27,000 at Columbus State Community College, the potential to connect to interns and new graduates is tremendous. Adding in Capital University, Denison, Franklin University, Ohio Dominican, Otterbein, Ohio University Dublin, Muskingum, Western Governor’s University and others outside the Region, the business community has access to some of the nation’s top talent. Please join our upcoming Huddle with representatives from Columbus State Community College to learn how your business can start or enhance your existing intern program. Register here! 

For those businesses looking for highly skilled workers with credentials and certificates, Eastland Fairfield Career & Technical Schools and Columbus City Schools offer both adult and high school programs preparing their students with the skills required for in-demand jobs. Southwestern City Schools Career Technical Education provides traditional junior/senior and senior only options for students. Graduates from these schools are learning: Cyber Security, Engineering and Robotics, Medical Assisting, LPN, Welding, Graphic Design, and many other areas of study.

Refugees and Immigrants in Columbus MSA represent many nations, including Nepal, Bhutan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and others. Nearly 190,000 refugees and immigrants now call Columbus home, and many adults are seeking employment opportunities in the region. Research shows that over 40% of our refugee and immigrant communities hold degrees from their countries of origin, or are currently pursuing post-secondary education here. Connecting to providers like Jewish Family Services and Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS) gives employers connections to this educated and skilled talent pipeline. Through the generous support of Ni Source/Columbia Gas, the Columbus Chamber Foundation is pleased to invite you to our third educational event New Americans in our Economy, where we discuss better practices in hiring, onboarding, and training; as well as creating partnership and integration with the refugee and immigrant communities. We will also look at the importance of cultural awareness and developing inclusive workplaces for all. Join us here on August 12.

Restored Citizens One in six Ohioans has a criminal record that may be preventing them from getting and keeping a job. Currently, within 50 miles of downtown Columbus, nearly 14,000 of our community members are incarcerated. Less than 1% are serving lifetime sentences. Everyone else will eventually be freed and returned to society outside of prison. The Columbus Chamber Foundation partners with Ohio Poverty Law, Columbus Legal Aid, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Alvis, and others to facilitate awareness and educational offerings to engage businesses in the hiring and retention of those with background issues. Together, we formed SCORE Ohio to deliver bi-annual events introducing local businesses to Certificate of Qualification of Employment. CQE is short for Certificate of Qualification for Employment. It is part of an Ohio law passed in 2012 that helps people with criminal records obtain employment. A CQE holder has voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process by Ohio rehabilitation officials, a judge, and a probation department.

Adults with Disabilities experience unemployment at a rate close to 70%, even in the pre-Covid era. The poverty rate among 18-64-year-olds with disabilities in Central Ohio is 30% vs. 12% for those not classified with a disability. Greenleaf Job Training Services is a valued Chamber member and a key partner in our workforce initiatives, helping job seekers with disabilities overcome barriers and find employment. They are a vocational rehabilitation agency for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. Additionally, the Columbus Chamber Foundation promotes Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and we encourage you to engage with their team and resources. The Inclusive Employer Toolkit provides information and resources to help employers recruit, hire and retain employees with disabilities and best practices to foster an inclusive workplace.

Clearly, there is work that can be done to address the disparity in employment and wealth-building in our region. As we become more intentional in our efforts to engage with talent pipelines who bring experience and a desire to contribute, we create more opportunity and make Central Ohio a better place for all! Contact me to discuss how you can connect!


Kelly Fuller Headshot
Kelly Fuller
Workforce Development Director