TPMA White Paper to Focus on Challenges Facing Non-Traditional College Students

TPMA is excited to be completing  a white paper on behalf of Complete College America.  Established in 2009, CCA is a national nonprofit with a single mission: to work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.

TPMA’s white paper will discuss the challenges of enrolling and engaging non-traditional students in the nation’s institutions of higher education. The need for this work is compelling. Non-traditional students face challenges that can reduce the likelihood of college persistence and completion. Students with any nontraditional characteristics are far less likely than traditional students to achieve their educational goals.

TPMA staff will draw from scholarly research on what works in higher education and from our own extensive body of research conducted through three rounds of the U.S. Department of Labor’s TAACCCT program and other grant evaluations. TPMA also will make recommendations on emerging and promising practices for non-traditional success and engagement.

For more information on Complete College America, go here.

Building Career Pathways for Maximum Learning and Advancement

As our nation’s economy approaches near full employment status, it is more important than ever that collaboration take place among education and training partners, industry councils and economic and development agencies to plan a regional economic futures. Effective career pathways initiatives bring together community stakeholders to identify a region’s workforce and training needs, develop avenues for education and advancement, and ultimately lead to better jobs and a more skilled workforce for the community.

More than just a map of job titles and related credentials, a career pathway can illustrate complex relationships and synthesize information about an industry or an occupation. For example, TPMA staff have recently been working with a task force led by the Manufacturing Institute and funded by the Arconic Foundation to explore career pathways in aerospace manufacturing. The aerospace industry requires a highly skilled workforce familiar with green technologies, advanced manufacturing practices (such as 3-D printing), and stringent FAA recommendations. Career Pathways in this specialized industry—even across regions with very different economic climates—can help businesses, education providers, and the workforce system create solutions that tap into existing resources and innovations at the same time. Next month, members of the aerospace task force will be presenting some of these solutions at the Manufacturing Institute’s Manufacturing Workforce 4.0: A Symposium on Skills for the New Economy.

Career pathways aren’t just for industries and occupations with complex technical skill requirements. They’re also relevant in sectors that rely on a workforce with exceptional interpersonal skills, like hospitality and tourism. Used as a marketing tool to attract students and job seekers, a career pathway in the service industry can dispel myths that only dead-end jobs exist. For example, TPMA client NoRTEC uses career pathways to inform residents about the regional occupational outlook in the tourism industry and four other sectors. The tourism career pathway highlights opportunities for people with service industry experience and a bachelor’s degree—highly skilled jobs that pay a family sustaining wage.

Career pathways maximize opportunities for learning and advancement by simplifying the connections between institutions of higher education and the communities they serve. By identifying on- and off-ramps to education, creating connections to jobs and real-world experience, and providing neutral career counseling for learners of all ages, career pathway systems are designed to help students and employers navigate lifelong learning.

TPMA staff have designed career pathway efforts on behalf of both education and industry; we know what it takes to meet the needs of both sets of stakeholders.

If you would like to learn more about career pathways and how they can help your region, contact Sara Tracey at or 330/388-9325

Can Your Organization Measure its Impact on the Economy?

For the last several months, TPMA’s Research Team has been working on an Economic Impact Study for Indiana State University (ISU), the state’s fourth-largest public university, serving nearly 14,000 students.

The study examined ISU’s impact on job creation and economic growth throughout the state of Indiana and in the University’s seven-county service area in Indiana and Illinois. Statewide, Indiana State’s total 2015 impact resulted in 4,537 jobs with earnings of $172 million and total economic output of $411 million dollars. Within its seven-county service area, ISU generated more than $334 million in economic impact and created or supported four percent of all jobs in the area.

TPMA’s Director of Research, Brian Points, presented the findings to the University’s Board of Trustees in May 2017 and a final report will be issued this month.  ISU will share the data with legislators, faculty, staff, students and the community to show the positive financial and economic impact the university has on the local community and the state.


“Once a dollar is spent within a regional economy, that dollar could be spent numerous more times before it exits that region — such is the case with ISU, each dollar paid out to residents and local businesses is used by those parties to buy other goods and services within the ISU service area,” said Points.  “This demonstrates the economic phenomenon of ‘ripple effects.’”

Points noted the estimates are conservative and that only purchases that occur within the examined seven-county region count towards that area’s economic impact analysis. The study analyzed 25,000 procurement categories which addressed potential duplications and “leakage” (or money that is spent by ISU or its employees outside of the service area).

Accompanying the analysis are TPMA’s recommendations for how the university can increase economic development in the region, such as renovation of Indiana State’s Hulman Center. The center, a 10,200-seat multi-purpose arena opened in 1973, generated roughly $17 million in annual State impact, according to a separate analysis TPMA completed in 2014.

If your organization seeks greater evidence of the impact of your activities, or for more information on this story, contact Brian Points at or 208/596-5809

DataMatters | May 23, 2017

Pew Research Center, “Millennials Aren’t Job-Hopping Any Faster Than Generation X Did,” 2017.

Board planning and visioning sessions. Can we help?

Our Organizational and Community Development team continues to work on a variety of new and exciting projects, helping the not-for-profit community work more efficiently and effectively and with renewed inspiration and passion.

Our team recently has undertaken projects with two non-profit organizations, each focused on helping board members with planning for their future.

In our home state of Indiana we will be helping board members of Launch Terre Haute with a planning session. Launch Terre Haute is an open and collaborative workspace for freelancers, independents, and start-ups.  Their goal is to create and encourage an environment of open collaboration, and work with other similar groups to foster a state wide effort of entrepreneurism and innovation.

And in the state of Oregon, TPMA will similarly work with board members of Oregon Make A Wish in a one time “board passion and vision alignment session” that will connect each board member’s life experiences and passions with their roles as Make a Wish board members. The one day session will take place next month.

Is your board In need of a strategic-driven session that will serve to inspire, connect and engage your board members?  TPMA’s Organizational and Community Development team works with many different non-profit and quasi-governmental organizations on strategic and organizational planning. Central to our planning approach is a belief that organizational values, vision, and mission drive the culture and strategy of an organization.  For more information, contact John Carreon, Executive Vice President at 317/504-0636 or

New federal grant opportunity aimed at volunteer recruitment, management and support.

Speaking of The Corporation for National and Community Service, a new grant opportunity geared towards volunteer recruitment and retention has just been released by the CNCS.

Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) grants will be used to develop and/or support community-based entities to recruit, manage, and support volunteers. CNCS seeks to fund effective approaches that expand volunteering, strengthen the capacity of volunteer connector organizations to recruit and retain skill-based volunteers, and develop strategies to use volunteers effectively to solve problems. Specifically, the VGF grants will support efforts that expand the capacity of volunteer connector organizations to recruit, manage, support and retain individuals to serve in high quality volunteer assignments.

Eligible entities include state governments, local governments, Indian tribes, institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations.

Total funding has been set at $3.8 million, and minimum grant awards are expected to be in the $100,000 range.  The program requires submission of a Notification of Intent to Apply by

June 6, 2017, with applications due July 6, 2017


Can we help? Our grant writers stand ready and willing to assist qualifying organizations meet the tight deadlines set under this funding opportunity.  For more information, contact Kelly Riley at or 440-622-4947.

TPMA to assist Indiana AmeriCorps officials with data collection, performance measures and evaluation

TPMA will assist Indiana AmeriCorps officials improve data collection, performance measures and evaluation at 18 different Americorps*State Programs.

AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security. AmeriCorps members serve with more than 2,000 non-profits, public agencies, and community organizations.   The program is managed at the federal level by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

In Indiana, the Americorps*State grant program is administered by Serve Indiana.

Serve Indiana manages the grant application process for AmeriCorps*State, including issuing requests for proposals, conducting application reviews, and awarding grants. It also provides training and technical assistance to support sub-grantees and in turn, monitors programs, host-sites, and members to ensure compliance to federal and state grant requirements. The performance of each program is tracked and measured to established targets and outcomes.

Indiana program officials have defined their mission as “to advance service and volunteerism by informing, connecting, and promoting opportunities and resources that enrich the lives of Hoosiers.” Learn more about Indiana’s program by going here.

DataMatters | May 12, 2017

Kentucky Today, “Could aerospace be Kentucky’s next big industry?” 2017.,7190

DataMatters | May 1, 2017

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment Characteristics of Families – 2016,” 2017.

DataMatters | April 21, 2017

Advantage Business Media, “Is an Aging STEM Workforce Affecting Research, Innovation?” 2017.