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  • Quality of Place in Economic Development

    by Courtney Ross | Apr 17, 2015
    The Nashville region continues to grow its reputation as a top destination for talent, tourism and business investment. Quality of place plays a major role in our economic development work as we continue to attract new businesses and residents to Middle Tennessee. Here are a few of our favorite latest community assets.

    First Tennessee Park
    Professional sports are a major draw for any community, and this season the Nashville Sounds will play in a brand-new venue - First Tennessee Park. Built on the historic Sulphur Dell site, which was home to Nashville's first-ever baseball team, First Tennessee Stadium replaces Greer Stadium as the digs of the Nashville Sounds minor-league team.

    West Riverfront Park and Amphitheater
    Nashvillians are passionate about live music and green space, so we we're thrilled about the 11-acre park/amphitheater combo due to open this summer on the west bank of the Cumberland River. Located on the site of the former thermal plant, the park includes more than a mile of multi-use greenway trails, Nashville's first downtown dog park, two basketball half-courts, ornamental gardens and a 1.5-acre event lawn. The amphitheater will accommodate nearly 7,000 people and will be the summer home of the Nashville Symphony.

    Nashville Film ...
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  • Nashville Remains a Top City for Tech Talent

    by Alex Hughes | Apr 17, 2015

    A new report from commercial real estate firm CBRE places Nashville near the top of U.S. cities for tech job growth.

    Between 2010 and 2013, the tech talent pool in Nashville grew by 39 percent, which is the second-fastest rate for a small market (for the purposes of the study, a small market was defined as one with a labor pool of 50,000 or fewer). This represents a higher growth rate than Nashville's key competitor cities of Charlotte and Austin, and also rates higher than Silicon Valley.

    Also this week, Forbes reported Nashville No. 8 in the nation among cities creating the most tech jobs. To determine the ranking, researchers examined employment data from the nation’s 52 largest metropolitan statistical areas from 2004 to 2014, and looked at the change in employment over that timespan in industries such as computer programming services.

    The article credits Nashville's health care industry for fueling strong growth in systems design firms and data centers. Overall, Nashville's tech industry grew 68.6 percent from 2004 to 2014; STEM occupations grew 14.7 percent in that same decade.

    We have no doubt Nashville's tremendous growth, particularly in the tech sector, is a direct result of the hard work ...
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    Category: Workforce
    Tags: tech talent
  • Mayoral Forum Empowers Nashville's Future Leaders

    by Alex Hughes | Apr 09, 2015
    Guest post by Stephanie Winn, Chamber manager of talent attraction & retention

    Transit, public education, affordable housing, green space and income inequality were top topics at YP Nashville's mayoral forum this week. Candidates Megan Barry, Charles Robert Bone, David Fox, Bill Freeman, Howard Gentry, Jeremy Kane and Linda Eskind Rebrovick answered questions submitted by Nashville's young professionals about the issues of greatest importance to them.

    Young professionals make up 43 percent of Middle Tennessee's workforce, and represent a significant portion of the new residents moving to Tennessee annually. Fifty-three percent of the registered voters in Davidson County are within the young professional demographic.

    The capacity crowd all said they plan to vote in the August election, which comes at a pivotal time for Nashville. Our city's economy is experiencing unprecedented prosperity, and we have become one of the fastest-growing MSAs in the country. However, there are challenges ahead for Nashville's next mayor, including the need for affordable, reliable mass transit solutions; creating a more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure; reducing poverty/homelessness; and the importance of remaining competitive in the global economy.

    We encouraged attendees to use the hashtag #MyFutureNash to broaden the conversation on Twitter. The event inspired great conversation - ...

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    Category: Workforce
  • Cherry Blossoms, Exporting to Europe and More International Happenings in Nashville

    by Lori Odom | Apr 09, 2015

    International events and opportunities are abundant in Middle Tennessee over the next few weeks. Here’s a sampling of what’s in store.  

    Celebrate Japanese cultural connections at this Saturday’s Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. This family-friendly, free event features more than 20 food trucks and Japanese food vendors; shopping; and cultural lectures and displays, along with taiko drummers and a day packed full of entertainment. The weather promises to be beautiful, and free parking is available at LP Field – check it out!

    Joining this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival will be a delegation from Nashville’s sister city of Kamakura, Japan. This group has embraced the cultural side of the relationship by forming the Nashville-Kamakura Friendship Band, who will perform on the main stage at 10:35 a.m. If you are interested in learning more about the Kamakura-Nashville exchange, check out Sister Cities of Nashville.

    Closing out the weekend on Sunday, April 12, is “Blossoms and Brews,” a celebration of spring, cherry blossoms, Japanese culture and local delicious beer. Presented by JAST Young Professionals, the event takes place at Yazoo Brewery from 2 to 5 p.m.

    On Wednesday, April 15, Lipscomb University will host Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former secretary general of NATO, at ...

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  • A Day in the Life at DuPont Hadley Middle Prep

    by Rita McDonald | Apr 06, 2015

    Our final Middle Prep VIP tour for the school year at DuPont Hadley Middle on April 1 ended with a bang. More than 50 attendees were welcomed by the school band, entertained by a guitarist, observed project-based learning activity from students and were dazzled with a selection by the chorus as the tour kicked off.

    The DuPont Hadley Middle mission statement is "challenging, developing, encouraging." As the guests toured the building, they saw examples of how each student is challenged, developed and encouraged by viewing "a day in the life" at DuPont Hadley.

    • Fifth grade – VIPs sat in on a meeting of the school's Bridge Club, where students sharpen their math skills by playing the classic card game. This club is supported by volunteers from the Vanderbilt University Bridge Club.
    • Sixth grade – Guests experienced the theme "To Proficiency and Beyond" via a project-based learning experience where students used a green screen to create a broadcast featuring weather forecasts and news stories.
    • Seventh grade – The tour group visited a literacy class where students were posting their work on a blog and receiving instant feedback from their teacher.
    • Eighth grade – Attendees observed an algebra class whose students were ...
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    Category: Education
  • School Board Solicits Business Feedback on New Director of Schools

    by Laura Moore | Apr 03, 2015
    As current Director of Metro Schools Dr. Jesse Register nears the end of his contract on June 30, the search is on for a new schools director to take the helm. This month, our business community will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on what they are looking for in his successor.

    On Wednesday, April 15, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., representatives from national executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) will lead a structured discussion about the director search, co-hosted by the Nashville Area Chamber, the PENCIL Foundation, the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber and the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. The Metro School Board has contracted with HYA to secure Register's replacement by July 1.

    The discussion, which is open to the members of all four organizations, will be held in the school board's meeting space at 2601 Bransford Ave., 37204. (Onsite parking is available; please enter the building via the Berry Road entrance.) If you are interested in attending this discussion, please email me. If you are unable to attend the session but would still like to provide your feedback, you can take an anonymous three-question survey from the search consultant (the survey closes April 19) or ...
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    Category: Education
  • Member Spotlight - The Mill at Lebanon

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 02, 2015
    Q: What's your biggest goal for your company in the next year?
    A: We recently reorganized and hired an event salesperson in response to our increase in event sales. We want to further develop our corporate events, meetings and trade shows.

    Q: How do you define success?
    A: Success means accomplishing in your chosen field, and being content with that accomplishment.

    Q: How has Chamber membership benefited your company?
    A: Networking is the lifeblood of our business. The Chamber provides us the opportunity to grow our contact base.

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    Category: General
  • NashvilleNext Announces Draft Plan

    by Debby Dale Mason | Mar 30, 2015
    After more than three years of planning, public meetings and presentations, the NashvilleNext draft plan is now available online for public review. As a member of the NashvilleNext steering committee, the Chamber is pleased that economic prosperity is a pillar of the plan that will guide future planning and zoning policy.

    NashvilleNext is a strategic long-range plan built on a foundation of community engagement and the open exchange of ideas. More than 17,000 participants, including those in the business community, have helped shape NashvilleNext through public meetings and community engagement. There's still time for you to be part of the process.

    Community input -- particularly from business leaders -- continues to be vital in guiding the plan for Nashville's future. Visit by April 30 to review the plan and its supporting materials, then share your thoughts via email ( or by responding to an online survey.

    Planners are also hosting five open house meetings across Davidson County where you can provide feedback in person. 
    • Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Tennessee State University Avon Williams (Downtown) Campus - Auditorium
    • Monday, April 20, 5-7 p.m., North Nashville Police Precinct and Edmondson Pike Branch Library
    • Monday, April 27, 5-7 ...
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    Category: General
  • Join Nashville's Transit Conversation

    by Debby Dale Mason | Mar 25, 2015
    Nashville's transit future is a top Chamber priority because improved multi-modal transit options are essential to our quality of place -- particularly as Middle Tennessee's population continues growing. We know we have to get transit right in our city and region if we want to continue thriving, and it's important for the entire community to have buy-in.   

    The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has announced nMotion2015, a new long-range strategic planning process that will build on the efforts of NashvilleNext. Public involvement is key to the success of this planning process.

    MTA will host a series of community meetings to engage Nashvillians in the planning process; the first two meetings will both be held Tuesday, April 7. MTA CEO Steve Bland will provide an overview of the planning process, and will also gather community feedback to help define the values and guiding principles MTA can use to develop Nashville's next-generation transit system.

    We encourage employers and employees to get involved and provide your input for nMotion2015, particularly in this important first phase of defining values and guiding principles for MTA. We will keep you updated on nMotion2015 and other opportunities for involvement as this important process continues. Below are the ...
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    Category: Transit
  • Haslam Discusses Education, Insure Tennessee with Chamber Members

    by Adam Lister | Mar 24, 2015

    With nearly 225,000 private-sector jobs created in Tennessee in the past four years, our state's economy is booming. Due to this job growth and its associated capital investment, Business Facilities magazine recently named Tennessee "State of the Year" for the second year in a row. Tennessee is the first state to receive the recognition in consecutive years.

    With this success as our backdrop, we hosted Gov. Bill Haslam today at our Governor's Address. This event is our members' annual opportunity to hear from our state's top leader about his priorities, which closely align with the Chamber's most important concerns.

    Haslam discussed his goals for helping Tennessee maintain "high and rigorous" educational standards, noting that well-prepared students become tomorrow's workers who can help our state address the challenges ahead. The Haslam administration's Tennessee Promise -- the first program of its kind in the nation -- will provide two years of tuition-free education at any of Tennessee's 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or any other eligible institution offering an associate degree.

    While Tennessee Promise will help thousands of students achieve their goals of higher education, Haslam noted that 70 percent of students enter college needing remedial work -- a ...

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    Tags: Gov. Haslam