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  • THEC Awards $200,000 to Middle TN to Support Adults in Postsecondary Attainment

    by Nancy Eisenbrandt | Oct 08, 2015
    The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will serve as the lead partner in overseeing the implementation of a $200,000 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to support adults interested in completing their postsecondary degree or credential. Middle Tennessee will serve as one of three Tennessee Reconnect Communities (TRC) providing adult learners with free advising, career counseling, support and a personalized path to and through college completion. The TRC grant provides additional resources to support the Lumina Community Partnership for Attainment grant the Chamber received last year to advance adult postsecondary education attainment.

    Through TRC, the Chamber will be the backbone of a partnership that includes businesses, workforce development organizations, colleges, applied technology centers and many other stakeholders in connecting adults to postsecondary completion and, ultimately, success in the workforce. Our goal is to establish a source adults can go to in order to chart a path to greater skill, knowledge and prosperity.

    The counties served by the Middle Tennessee grant include Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Montgomery, Rutherford, Sumner and Williamson.

    The TRC program is based on a model developed by the nonprofit The Graduate! Network, which brings together stakeholders from different segments of the local economy to develop innovative ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Education, Health Care, Transit Emerge As Major Quality-of-Life Issues

    by Laura Moore | Oct 08, 2015

    While there are a lot of things that make life good in Middle Tennessee, building prosperity requires focused intention.

    That theme resonated throughout the release of the 2015 Nashville Region’s Vital Signs report on Tuesday with the Middle Tennessee Mayors’ Caucus. Vital Signs is a way for our region to take an annual snapshot of how we’re doing and identify areas in need of action. This year’s report shows there is a lot to celebrate. Growth job is high, unemployment is low, our cost of living remains low compared to peer regions, and our residents feel like the region is a lively and vibrant place to live. However, the report also points to three concerns we must address: postsecondary education, health care coverage and regional transit.

    This year’s Vital Signs shows that our region is not producing enough graduates with the skills necessary to keep pace with the jobs that are being created. Although the region outpaces our nation and state in the percentage of adults with bachelor's degrees, our current economic development momentum is not sustainable without an influx of highly skilled workers – especially in growth industries such as construction, logistics and manufacturing.

    Given Nashville's status as a ...

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  • Member Spotlight - Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 05, 2015

    Q: October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. What is the importance of drawing attention to the issue of domestic violence, and how can people get involved locally?
    A: At Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee (PCAT), our mission is to prevent the abuse and neglect of children in Tennessee. One of the ways we achieve our mission is by working with families to decrease family violence, because we understand how domestic violence can impact children. Children who live in homes where domestic violence is present suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30-60 percent). Children who experience violence at home may suffer from anxiety, nightmares, difficulty concentrating at school, emotional neediness and demonstrate increased aggression towards others. PCAT runs several programs that help strengthen the safety net for families and improve outcomes for these children. We operate and staff Tennessee’s only statewide, 24/7, domestic violence crisis call helpline. Last year, the helpline received 4,081 calls from survivors, with the highest percentage of calls coming from Davidson County. During October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, PCAT is promoting the helpline, 1-800-356-6767, and encouraging every community to join us in our work to build violence-free homes. You can promote the helpline ...

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    Category: General
  • State of the RTA System Report Identifies Potential Transit Opportunities

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 02, 2015
    Courtesy of nMotion

    Last week, as part of the yearlong strategic planning process called nMotion, the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee (RTA) released the State of the RTA System Report, which found that regional service doesn’t meet current demands for transit and will continue to fall further behind as Middle Tennessee grows unless its needs are addressed.

    The report provides an overview of existing RTA transit services and an evaluation of how well these services match transit demand in the region, both today and 25 years in the future. Based on those findings, the report presents the key issues facing RTA and serves as a starting point for the strategies and recommendations that will be part of the final Nashville MTA/RTA strategic plan to be released next spring. The new report finds that growth in both population and employment will produce much higher volumes of travel overall, including to and from Nashville and within the 10-county region. Increasing population and employment densities in traditional regional centers and in new emerging areas will greatly increase the demand for transit, and for new types of transit.

    The full report and an executive summary are available on the nMotion website. MTA/RTA encourages ...
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    Category: Transit
  • Chamber Honors Outstanding Volunteers

    by Lindsay Chambers | Sep 30, 2015
    The Chamber’s work is made possible by the support of our members, particularly those who devote their time and energy to helping advance key priorities. Since 2008, the Spirit of the Chamber Awards have recognized volunteers who have contributed the most toward the organization’s purpose of facilitating community leadership to create economic prosperity. These volunteers help the Chamber accomplish results and position Middle Tennessee for continued success.

    The 2015 Spirit of the Chamber awardees were announced at the Chamber and Partnership 2020 Annual Meeting on Sept. 30.

    Mike Shmerling, XMi Holdings
    In the past year, Mike Shmerling, XMi Holdings, has been involved in two initiatives that have a long-term impact on the future of our city and region – regional transit and Metro government fiscal stability. As chair of the 2015 Leadership/Transit Study Missions, he led one of the largest delegations in Chamber history to Salt Lake City, where community leaders learned from national models in multi-modal transit infrastructure, community visioning and immigration reform. The best practices from this visit have already been implemented in the recently unveiled Moving Forward regional transit initiative, which will unite leaders and organizations committed to creating a regional mass transit solution through a collaborative ...
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    Category: General
  • Annual Meeting Commemorates Interconnectedness, Shared Success

    by Lindsay Chambers | Sep 30, 2015

    The Chamber and Partnership 2020 celebrated another record-setting year for job growth at our Annual Meeting on Sept. 30.

    From July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, the Nashville region exceeded the aggressive performance metrics set forth in the P2020 strategic plan, with 17,562 announced jobs leading to $2.7 billion in capital investment.

    Our new five-year economic development strategy, launched in February, will build on this momentum by maintaining a focus on three key drivers: economic prosperity, talent development and preserving the Nashville region's quality of place. These three elements, along with a strong foundation of regional collaboration, will help Middle Tennessee remain nationally and internationally competitive.

    At the meeting, we introduced Jim Schmitz, Middle Tennessee president of Regions Bank, as our new Partnership co-chair. Schmitz assumes the leadership role recently vacated by Milton Johnson, chairman and CEO of HCA, whose tenure was marked by unprecedented growth and success. We also announced that newly elected Mayor Megan Barry has accepted the co-chairmanship of Partnership 2020. Barry's economic development agenda and commitment to effective regionalism align closely with Chamber priorities, and we look forward to working with her office.

    Interconnectedness was the theme of the Annual Meeting, as we heard from ...

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  • Member Spotlight - Comcast Business

    by Lindsay Chambers | Sep 24, 2015
    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: As we all know, Middle Tennessee has been experiencing significant growth, both in population and business development. Nashville’s unique business and entrepreneurial climate is a key driver to this growth. Working with Middle Tennessee businesses that are hungry for innovation and collaboration is certainly one of the best things about doing business in the area.

    Q: What's your biggest goal for your company in the next year?
    A: This year, we have announced major speed increases and launched several new innovative products and services, both on our business and residential platforms. Now, Comcast is undertaking an extensive transformation to improve the customer experience and make that our best product yet. It’s the company’s No. 1 priority. We are implementing changes across the board to put customers at the center of every decision we make and empowering our employees to deliver excellent service to our customers through enhanced tools and resources.

    We are investing millions of dollars, hiring thousands of new customer service representatives and technicians, and are redoubling our efforts around product reliability to be certain our products work flawlessly and that our customers are satisfied. We are ...
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  • Oliver Middle Prep Wows VIPs

    by Rita McDonald | Sep 22, 2015
    The Nashville Area Chamber, Metro Nashville Public Schools and Greater Nashville Association of Realtors kicked off this school year's series of Middle Prep VIP Tours in September with a visit to Oliver Middle.

    More than 50 attendees, including Rep. Jason Powell; school board member Jo Ann Brannon; Vice Mayor-elect David Briley; Freddie O'Connell (Metro Council District 19); and Davette Blalock (Metro Council District 27); were welcomed by student ambassadors, as well as Principal Jeanna Collins and school staff. Guests were then treated to a spirited rendition of the national anthem, performed by the school band.

    Another favorite moment on this tour included a performance of "The Unbirthday Song" from the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, which several guests praised as "extraordinary." The tour groups also saw a reenactment of Battle of the Books, a school-wide team reading competition. VIPs were able to sit in on an advanced math class and observe students working on art projects ranging from painting to mask-making.

    There are three remaining VIP tours planned for the 2015-2016 school year:
    • Wednesday, Oct. 21, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., West End Middle Prep
    • Wednesday, Feb. 17, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., McKissack Middle Prep
    • Wednesday, April 6, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Creswell ...
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    Category: Education
  • Nashville Health Care Council Fellows Initiative Launches Recruitment for 2016 Class

    by Lindsay Chambers | Sep 14, 2015
    Courtesy of the Nashville Health Care Council

    Applications are now open for the 2016 Fellows class, an annual initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council. This nationally unique program brings together senior health care leaders to explore strategies to meet the industry challenges of today and the future.

    Fellows is co-directed by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., and Larry Van Horn, a leading expert in health care management and economics, and professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Created in 2013 in response to the unprecedented change and transformation occurring in health care, the program leverages the expertise of the industry’s founding leadership in Nashville, as well as nationally known figures and leading academic institutions, to create a forum for thought leadership for the industry.

    “Fellows cultivates cross-pollination between the nation’s best and brightest from all sectors of the health care industry, challenging them to become disruptive, solutions-oriented leaders in today’s rapidly changing health care environment. There is no better place than Nashville, the nation’s health services capital, to host this annual initiative to move our industry forward,” said Frist.

    Fellows helps leaders define complex problems, develop actionable solutions and foster leadership ...

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    Category: General
  • Chamber Welcomes Bass, Berry & Sims PLC As Our Newest Pivotal Partner

    by Lindsay Chambers | Sep 11, 2015

    The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has signed on as our newest Pivotal Partner – a partnership at the highest level for all of our programs and events. Bass, Berry & Sims, the largest Nashville-based law firm, has been a member and supporter of the Chamber since 1961.

    As a Pivotal Partner, Bass, Berry & Sims joins Delek US Holdings, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, First Tennessee and Ryan LLC in supporting the work of the Chamber and providing resources necessary for the Chamber to offer valuable programming to our 2,200 member companies.

    “Our roots are in Nashville, and we care deeply about participating in a meaningful way in the continued prosperity of our city,” said Todd Rolapp, managing partner of Bass, Berry & Sims. “The Nashville Area Chamber provides a framework by which our attorneys can make a difference in the community, and we are thrilled to join such an esteemed group of companies as the Chamber’s newest Pivotal Partner.”

    Bass, Berry & Sims’ more than 220 attorneys represent numerous public and private companies across the region and nationwide. Founded in Nashville in 1922, Bass, Berry & ...

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    Category: General