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  • Business Leaders Help Guide High School Academies

    by Whitney Weeks | Aug 27, 2014
    Four times each academic year, nearly 120 supporters of the Academies of Nashville review achievement data, celebrate student successes, and determine how the local business and nonprofit communities can best continue their support of the 42 career academies found in Metro Nashville Public Schools’ 12 zoned high schools. Divided into five industry clusters that are each supported by a Partnership Council, these 120 supporters represent nearly 100 businesses and non-profit organizations. Each Partnership Council is led by a volunteer chair. Collectively, the councils are managed by the Nashville Area Chamber, with additional support provided by the PENCIL Foundation and MNPS.

    The Partnership Councils play an integral role in supporting the Academies of Nashville. These industry experts ensure academies and their career pathways are aligned with regional workforce projections, and that all students are well-prepared to earn appropriate industry certifications or dual-enrollment course credit before graduation. Partnership Council members also help provide academy teaching teams with opportunities for work-based externships, giving teachers valuable experiences and a chance to engage in lesson development with industry professionals.

    With the engagement of Partnership Council member volunteers, MNPS’s academies model is able to work effectively and authentically. The Chamber is proud to support the work ...
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    Category: Education
  • Sumner County Leaders Partner with Nashville Chamber to Focus on Postsecondary Attainment

    by Laura Moore | Aug 15, 2014
    Middle Tennessee has a math problem. By 2021, we are projected to be short 35,000 workers to fill the jobs that are coming to the region. Part of solving that equation will mean finding new and innovative ways to get students and adults to pursue education and training after high school. That was the message that united a group of leaders from Sumner County at a meeting last month hosted by Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt, Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves and Portland Mayor Ken Wilber.

    The meeting was a follow-up to the 2013 Nashville Region’s Vital Signs report, which tracks key issues that impact the region’s economic well-being. One of the key findings from the 2013 report is the need to increase the number of adults with postsecondary degrees across Middle Tennessee. Leaders from higher education, Sumner County Schools, Forward Sumner, local chambers of commerce and area businesses, as well as state representatives and elected officials from Goodlettsville, Westmoreland and White House, participated in the discussion. The session was facilitated by Vital Signs Action Team leaders Ron Corbin, principal, RBBC Holdings, and Joey Hatch, co-COO, Skanska.

    Over the last few years, Sumner County has taken significant steps to increase ...
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    Category: Policy
  • Transit, Mobility Remain Key Chamber Priorities

    by Debby Dale Mason | Aug 14, 2014
    If you struggle with your daily commute, you're not alone. Traffic is the factor American urban dwellers say they like least about their cities, according to a study released by Sasaki Associates, a Massachusetts-based design and planning firm.

    Though the study was limited to six cities (Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), its findings are highly relevant to Nashville, particularly as our city continues to experience rapid growth and its attendant traffic congestion. As we consider Nashville's future, we need to ensure our city is welcoming, accessible and attractive to a wide variety of people. Making it as easy as possible for people to move throughout our region is a key component of that goal.

    While we project our strong economy, high quality of life and low cost of living will continue to make Nashville one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, we need to be smart and strategic about how we plan to accommodate that growth. Earlier this year, the Nashville Business Journal reported on a study that rates Nashville as the 33rd most-congested city in the Western Hemisphere, and the 23rd most-congested city in the U.S. Average commuting times are only getting longer ...
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    Category: Transit
  • Pick Your Nashville

    by Rita McDonald | Aug 12, 2014
    As you may know, the Chamber is a steering committee member and a pillar of NashvilleNext, the process to update the city’s 25-year master plan. For the last two years, we have worked with the Metro Planning Department and leaders across the county to find out what Nashville residents want for the future. Now, we’re wrapping up another phase of the public input process, known as Pick Your Nashville, and we want to make sure you're part of it.

    Based on your input in previous phases, the Planning Department has drawn up three “Futures” that affect everything from housing to economic development. We’re asking you to choose which Future you prefer by taking the NashvilleNext online survey or attending one of the remaining NashvilleNext Lounges, where you can speak with city planners about what’s important to you.

    These Futures offer very different versions of how Nashville could grow. We could continue our current patterns under “Business as Usual,” or we could create hubs of economic activity throughout the county under “Centers with Adjacent Infill.” If you’d prefer to see a stronger downtown that branches out along the county’s transportation arteries, “Downtown and Pikes” ...
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    Category: General
  • Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Beth Chase, president and CEO, c3/consulting

    by Stephanie Coleman | Aug 07, 2014
    With the application deadline approaching for the 2014 NEXT Awards, we asked Beth Chase, president and CEO of c3/consulting, to share her insights on Nashville’s business community and entrepreneurial environment. Beth won the NEXT Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 and NEXT Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.

    Why did you choose Nashville for your business?

    Nashville’s been in the spotlight recently -- and rightfully so. I believed in Nashville long before Nashville was cool, AND I’ll continue to believe in Nashville because this city warrants it. Why?

    • Thriving business community: Nashville’s economy is supported by the unique combination of Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial organizations that are headquartered here. The country (and world) is beginning to understand the ecosystem that committed individuals are building in Nashville to support innovation and new business development. The secret’s out, and it’s easy to see why more and more companies are considering moving here. Even better, it’s exciting to see them thrive when they do decide to make the move.

    • Committed community: I serve on the boards of a number of community organizations, and my fellow c3 team members serve on at least 100 others. We live in a community that understands ...
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  • Back-to-School Is the Perfect Time to Get Involved

    by Whitney Weeks | Aug 01, 2014
    Next Wednesday, Aug. 6, marks the first day of school for Metro Nashville Public Schools students. For my household, the beginning of the school year means new notebooks, sharpened pencils, and graphing calculators. For students enrolled in the Academies of Nashville, it means career-focused field trips, college tours and ACT words-of-the-day. Whatever their age or grade, next week marks a new opportunity for all students to excel. This time of year is equally important, though, for those of us long past our primary and secondary education days. A successful public school system plays a vital role in our community, and it behooves us all to ensure students do well.

    Strong engagement from the business community is critical to the growth and improvement of our public schools. There are many ways businesses – large and small – can connect in a meaningful way. From providing school or classroom supplies to making it easy for staff to serve as volunteer mentors or tutors, hundreds of businesses in our community support MNPS every day. The Omni Hotel conducts a hotel-wide back to school supply drive. LP Building Products and Griffin Technology are just two of the Nashville companies that host summer externships for ...
    Category: Education
  • Join the Transportation Conversation

    by Rita McDonald | Jul 24, 2014
    As Nashville grows, it's more important than ever that we, as a community, develop long-term solutions that help residents, workers and visitors access our city. The Chamber has made transit and mobility one of our top priorities because we know it is crucial to our region's continued prosperity.

    We encourage you to attend the NashvilleNext Community Conversation about transportation on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 4-6 p.m., at Municipal Auditorium, 417 Fourth Ave. N. The special guest speaker will be Gabe Klein of the Urban Land Institute, who has served as transportation chief for Chicago and Washington, D.C.

    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. As city planners frame policies that will guide our growth for the next 25 years, it's essential for them to hear from local leaders like you. Please plan to participate in this meeting. You can RSVP for the event here, and explore different options to arrive at the event here.

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    Category: Transit
  • Member Spotlight - knapptimecreative

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 24, 2014
    Steven Knapp, knapptime creative

    Q: What is unique about your company or product/service?
    A: knapptimecreative’s main service is providing quick-turn multimedia storytelling for brands and businesses during events for use on social media. Our talent is going to your event, finding the stories that align with your brand, and presenting them to the world in a timely fashion, with a film-quality feel. While many businesses are content to let an intern post content with an iPhone, we take your branded social media content to the next level in terms of creativity, production value and speed. We’ve had great success with this model for some national brands like Roper Apparel, Stetson and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

    Q: How has Chamber membership benefited your company?
    A: knapptimecreative recently completed a 30-minute documentary about the Nashville in Harmony LGBT chorus; we are very thankful to have the Chamber’s support to help promote the screening Thursday, July 31, at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. More details are available here.

    Q: What has been the most valuable aspect of your Chamber membership?
    A: The Chamber has demonstrated their value by making some invaluable introductions. As a freelance visual artist, those personal relationships are key. Being ...
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    Category: General
  • Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Clint Smith

    by Stephanie Coleman | Jul 24, 2014
    With the application deadline approaching for the 2014 NEXT Awards, we asked Clint Smith, co-founder and CEO of Emma, to provide a glimpse into his company’s growth trajectory and share his insights on the importance of Nashville’s entrepreneurial environment. Clint won the NEXT Digital Media & Entertainment Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011.

    Q: How has Emma grown since you started the company?
    A: When we started, there were just two of us working out of someone else's office in a pair of cubicles for which we'd bartered website design work. By the end of this year, we will likely have around 150 people on staff. So in sheer people terms, it's a much different place than it was years ago, and the team today is able to do so much more than we could as a small startup. And nowadays it seems like each person who joins Emma is even more impressive than the last one (just don't tell the last one!), so to think that we're growing in talent as we're growing in size is very exciting.

    Q: What has surprised you the most about starting and running your own company?
    A: Just how often things basically ...
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    Category: General
  • Who's Defining Nashville's Future?

    by Rebecca Leslie | Jul 22, 2014
    Guest post by Alex Hughes, manager of talent retention, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

    Young professionals are a critical component of our workforce, and also contribute greatly to our region's reputation as one of the best places in the country to live and work.

    Next Thursday, we will celebrate the accomplishments of 75 of Nashville's most outstanding young professionals at the eighth annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs).

    The NELAs began in 2006 and have since become one of the Chamber's signature annual programs, having recognized nearly 600 young professionals as finalists and award recipients in 15 industry categories. Our volunteer judging panels evaluate each applicant based on professional achievement, demonstrated leadership and community impact. This year's finalists were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants. They range in age from 22 to 40, and they represent 10 counties in the Nashville MSA. They have not only achieved a high level of career success in 15 diverse industries, but they have also been active in volunteer roles throughout our region, supporting and leading more than 250 Middle Tennessee nonprofits.

    Each year during the NELAs, we also present the Impact Award, recognizing an individual who has mentored local young ...
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    Category: Workforce