Just-In-Time Solutions for the New Normal

By Dawn Buskirk (Drinkard) – Senior Director

Unemployment rates are slowly declining as Americans begin to return to their “new normal” work sites. State and local workforce boards along with their training provider partners are beginning to explore new innovative, expanded access to job skills training programs. This is the time to implement new delivery models of services in building a newly skilled workforce.

The pandemic dramatically accelerated the virtual delivery model of services, including online learning for job skills training. The trend is even more pronounced as new technology touches 80% of today’s occupations.

Knowing the pandemic will further support lifelong learning, how will the public workforce system and its education organizations respond?

TPMA is collaborating with partners that deliver job training through technology and well-thought-out strategic implementation. Our affiliated partners—180 Skills, Eleven Fifty Academy and Coursera to name a few—are accelerated, online industry-approved credentialing programs that enable students to engage NOW at very low costs. Some are even free.

TPMA has supplemented our subject matter expert staff with technology-based partnerships with their innovative tools to help our clients enhance training provider options within their public workforce systems.

As business delivery models react to a new normal of services and resources, reach out to TPMA to explore our menu of services and tools. Times change, but we are still guiding clients to the desired results: industry credentialed workforce.

Contact Dawn at:




Real-World Options for Virtual Reality

By Aaron Finley – Project Consultant


Fear not, trainers! The expanding world of simulation and/or virtual reality (VR) is a supplement, not a replacement, for hands-on skills training. As education and training are rapidly becoming more virtual, hybrid programs that allow for some simulation-based skills training provide solutions beyond pandemic-related distancing needs.

VR can help current training providers address some of their most pressing and long-standing problems. For example, keeping manufacturing and robotics labs up to date is costly due to the rapid pace of technological advancement, especially for regional training centers and community colleges with fewer resources.

With the recent advancements such as VR gloves, virtual training options could soon cover a wide variety of “hands-on” skills training. Simulation and VR solutions could allow community colleges to offer skills training options that do not require their own on-campus labs.

Even if these skills need some in-person or “real world” testing, the lightened requirements for lab hours means fewer labs could meet the needs of more trainees and students. Multiple colleges, training centers, and regional stakeholders could pool resources to create a single training and testing lab, allowing students from various area institutions to apply and assess virtually-taught skills to complete their training.

There are still many holdouts, insistent that technical skills can only be taught on machines and in-person. But a big change for skeptics and cash-strapped training providers alike is a part of the future that seems to be arriving much faster than anticipated.

Contact Aaron at:





Coding, Cyberspace Academy Supports Rural Communities

By Liz Huston – Intern

Rural areas are losing critical intellectual capital to the economic and academic opportunities provided by metropolitan regions. To help solve this problem, postsecondary education should focus on training in fields and specialties most sought after in their regions.

TPMA is partnering with organizations such as Eleven Fifty Academy to help keep talent in rural communities. The demand for IT skills in fields such as coding and cybersecurity is outpacing supply. Eleven Fifty is helping fill the 10,000 open IT jobs in Indiana by hosting 12- to 24-week bootcamps as an alternative to traditional postsecondary education.

The unique bootcamp environment gives students skillsets and experiences to enter high-paid jobs immediately upon graduation. The average starting salary of a graduate is more than $54,000 and increases to $71,000 after only one year of experience. Many of these tech jobs can be filled by remote workers in rural communities.

Additionally, the CARES Act grant enables Eleven Fifty Academy to offer bootcamps at no cost for workers who lost jobs due to the pandemic. TPMA is partnering with Eleven Fifty to leverage these CARES Act dollars to assist more students and meet the needs of growing IT companies.

To learn more about other available grants, visit https://www.tpma-inc.com/funding- opportunities/

Contact Liz at: