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  • NashvilleNext to Examine Economic Development

    by Rita McDonald | Sep 16, 2014
    Middle Tennessee is growing rapidly, and smart, proactive planning is essential to managing that growth. The Nashville Area Chamber is a member of the NashvilleNext steering committee, a group leading a strategic planning process that will guide our city's growth through 2040.

    The NashvilleNext process will continue this month with a community conversation about economic development – how new jobs are created in our region, how we attract businesses to the region, and how quality of life helps Middle Tennessee remain economically competitive. Courtney Ross, the Chamber's chief economic development officer, will be the featured speaker.

    The meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 29, at the Adventure Science Center. We hope you can be part of this important public discussion.

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    Category: General
  • Congratulations to Our NEXT Awards Finalists

    by Stephanie Coleman | Sep 16, 2014
    The Nashville Area Chamber and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center have announced the finalists for the fourth annual NEXT Awards. These awards recognize excellence in business and entrepreneurship in Middle Tennessee.

    The NEXT Awards honor companies and individual entrepreneurs in five business categories that are vital to the Middle Tennessee economy: health care; technology; digital media and entertainment; social enterprise and sustainability; and products and services. Individual awards will also be given for Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

    A celebration of these finalists will be held Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Winners will be announced during the NEXT Awards event Thursday, Nov. 20, at War Memorial Auditorium.

    2014 NEXT Award Finalists

    Digital Media & Entertainment
    Startup
    • Make It Pop Creations
    • Proof Branding
    • Talkapolis
    • Wheelhouse Marketing Advisors, LLC
    Growth
    • DWP Live
    • Paramore | the digital agency
    • REACH, LLC
    • Snapshot Interactive LLC
    Health Care
    Startup
    • Aspire Health, Inc.
    • Bernard Health
    • InvisionHeart Inc.
    • MedCycle Management, LLC
    Growth
    • Applied Health Analytics, LLC
    • Change Healthcare
    • EnableComp, LLC
    • Sitters Etc.
    Market Mover
    • Cumberland Pharmaceuticals LLC
    • emids
    • Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Products & Services
    Startup
    • 6th Man Movers
    • Dan's Gourmet Mac & Cheese
    • Music City Pizza
    • Pfeffer Torode Architecture
    Growth...
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  • Your Feedback Guides Regional Transit Planning

    by Debby Dale Mason | Sep 15, 2014
    Guest post by Michael Skipper, executive director, Nashville Area MPO

    Do you take the same route to work every day? We often make this decision unconsciously as we run through our plan for the day in our minds. If you're like most people, you decide as you are leaving the house how you will maneuver through your community based on traffic congestion, construction, the stops you need to make along the way and time of day.

    The reality is that there is a strong correlation between time spent traveling our roadways and our overall quality of life. In addition to your commute to work, the other daily trips you take to run errands, care for family members or meet friends for dinner all create an experience in our day that either improves our health and mobility, or hinders it. This is why the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) needs to know how to improve your daily travels.

    To gather this information, the MPO has launched its 2014 Regional Transportation Survey to gauge transportation priorities in Middle Tennessee. This survey offers participants the opportunity to rate infrastructure needs in their community. Additionally, the survey evaluates access to, or the need ...
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    Category: Transit
  • Sophomore Shares Her Career Fair Experiences

    by Rita McDonald | Sep 11, 2014
    A Nashville 10th-grader told the Metro School Board Tuesday night that a visit to last year’s “My Future, My Way” Career Exploration Fair was her first step in discovering the range of careers open to young people who want to work in the entertainment industry.

    Jennifer Gomez is a student at the CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communications at McGavock High School who hopes to study design and find work after high school which allows her to apply her creative skills. “The Exploration Fair was my first chance to really talk to people about doing design work in the real world,” Gomez told board members. “I learned a lot.” Her essay about her experiences at last year’s Career Exploration Fair won an award from Shoney’s and the Nashville Area Chamber.

    Gomez was joined by Shoney’s CEO David Davoudpour, whose company will be this year’s presenting sponsor for the event. “I’m happy to continue our participation for the fourth consecutive year,” said Davoudpour. “This event exposes high school freshmen to real career paths available in Middle Tennessee and motivates them to see the possibilities about their future goals, both in school and beyond. This also helps them to set their ...
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    Category: Education
  • Chamber's New Programming Helps Grow Your Business

    by Stephanie Coleman | Sep 10, 2014
    Guest post by Corey Davis, Chamber director of business growth initiatives

    business_studio_logoSmall and entrepreneurial businesses are vital to the Nashville region's economy. They are also an integral part of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce – nearly 90 percent of our membership is comprised of companies with 100 or fewer employees.

    This month, we're excited to launch Business Studio, a suite of new programming designed especially for our small business members. Whether you're a brand-new solopreneur looking for ways to build your business, or a seasoned small business owner seeking ways to increase employee productivity, Business Studio will provide you with relevant resources that are customized to meet your needs.

    On Tuesday, Sept. 30, we're hosting our first Studio Session. At this event, we'll provide a "business checkup" to give you a full understanding of the key components of owning and running your own business. We'll start with the basics and touch on everything from choosing the right legal structure to certifications, tax and insurance liability, grants, funding, and even going as far as setting up company policies and procedures.

    For your assessment assistance, we'll also have a panel of experts on hand to help us gain a better understanding ...
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  • Nashville Is a Leading Metro For Export Growth

    by Blewett McInteer | Sep 04, 2014

    A new report from the federal International Trade Administration ranks Nashville fifth in the nation for export growth. In 2013, $8.7 billion worth of goods were exported from the Nashville metro area, a 35.9 percent increase over 2012's total of $6.4 billion.

    With $32.3 billion in exports in 2013, Tennessee held its spot as the 14th-ranked U.S. state for exports -- especially impressive for a state with no coastline. 

    Nashville's largest export market continues to be Canada, with $3.7 billion of goods shipped there in 2013. Our other top export markets are Mexico ($1.5 billion), China ($457.6 million) and the UK ($266.7 million). Top export sectors in the Nashville MSA are transportation equipment ($3.6 billion), computer and electronic products ($1.9 billion), machinery ($510.7 million), chemicals and electrical equipment ($475.3 million), and appliances and components ($379.7 million).

    International business is a crucial part of our overall economic development strategy. By increasing exports and attracting jobs and investment from other countries, our city, region and state will become more competitive in the global marketplace.

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  • Corporate Expansions Create Thousands of New Jobs

    by Courtney Ross | Sep 03, 2014
    It's a great time to work in economic development in Middle Tennessee. Over the past week, six companies have announced expansions in our region, investing more than $200 million and creating nearly 2,800 new jobs.

    gm General Motors officials announced last week the company will invest $185 million to make small gas engines at its Spring Hill manufacturing complex. GM also identified the next-generation Cadillac SRX as a future mid-sized vehicle to be produced at Spring Hill. The naming of the Cadillac SRX program follows GM's previously announced $350 million investment in Spring Hill for two future mid-sized vehicles expected to create or retain approximately 1,800 jobs.

    federal-mogul Also in the advanced manufacturing industry, Federal-Mogul, a maker of automotive parts, will invest $6.2 million to expand its current distribution facility in Smyrna and create 135 new jobs in Rutherford County. As part of this expansion, Federal-Mogul will increase its Smyrna footprint from 600,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet.

    Service-Source ServiceSource, the global leader in recurring revenue management, plans to expand its Nashville sales center and will create 100 full-time permanent jobs to support its rapidly growing customer base. With now more than 800 local employees, ServiceSource is the third-largest ...
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  • Positive Momentum For Resetting Charter School Conversation

    by Marc Hill | Aug 29, 2014
    What a difference two years can make. In 2012, the Metro school board was consumed for nearly a year with the Great Hearts charter school application, a standoff between the school board and the State of Tennessee that made everyone involved look bad. Most galling, to many business leaders, was the $3.4 million in state funds that Metro Schools lost as the result of the fiasco.

    So, what’s changed between 2012 and 2014? For one, after more than a decade of reacting to whatever charter school applicants happen to propose, Metro Schools is now asking potential charter operators to consider the district’s strategic needs. Perhaps more importantly, it appears that the school district administration and a majority of the board now recognize that the district’s lowest-performing schools are not improving fast enough, and that the charter sector will need to play a greater role in turning these schools around.

    The most recent step forward for Metro Schools on this issue took place on Aug. 21, when the school board voted to approve the amended application of STRIVE Academy, a charter middle school proposed for the McGavock cluster that was initially rejected in June. The Metro School board’s recent vote means ...
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    Category: Education
  • Education Committee Looking Forward To a Great Year

    by Rita McDonald | Aug 29, 2014
    The Chamber’s Education Committee convened for their first meeting of the 2014-2015 school year on Aug. 26. Committee members are volunteer leaders in the Chamber’s multi-year strategy to improve K-12 public schools.

    Members heard from Chris Henson, Metro Schools' CFO, and Dr. Julie McCargar, executive director of federal programs and grant management, about the 2014-2015 MNPS budget.

    Henson and McCargar provided an overview of Tennessee's Basic Education Program (BEP) -- the funding formula through which state education dollars are generated and distributed to Tennessee schools -- as well as the process by which schools receive local funding. They also discussed the budget process, including how it is planned, how expenditures are allocated, and current and future capital projects. The budget, once created by MNPS, must be approved by the mayor and Metro Council. McCargar also discussed a number of federal revenue sources for MNPS, including grants such as Race to the Top and Title I dollars.

    The Education Committee also met new school board members Tyese Hunter (District 6) and Mary Pierce (District 8), who were elected in August and will be sworn in at the school board's first September meeting. They both shared their eagerness to help improve Metro ...
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  • Freshman Career Fair Set for Oct. 29

    by Rita McDonald | Aug 28, 2014

    Fair allows thousands of ninth-graders to explore career choices

    The "My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair provides an avenue for high school freshmen in Metro Nashville Public Schools to explore a breadth of career areas. This is a first, important step to helping them understand how high school prepares them for college and career, and how the business partners engaged with the Academies of Nashville assist with that preparation.

    This year’s sixth annual career fair will host approximately 7,000 ninth-graders from MNPS’ zoned high schools, magnet and choice schools and charter high schools on Wednesday, October 29 at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville.  

    Prior to attending the career fair, students will have completed career exploration research, guided by their school faculty, in preparation for their visits. They will have also learned about professional dress and behavior. Once at the career fair, they will speak with business volunteers, ask questions, and participate in hands-on activities. In addition to the career fair and the career exploration research, students also participate in an essay contest, a social media campaign, and other post-fair activities to reinforce what they’ve learned and to help them continue to think regularly about their ...

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    Category: Education