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  • Next Time You See Academic Data, Close Your Eyes and Imagine a Child You Know

    by Candy Johnson | Feb 10, 2016

    The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is involved in education policy work on many fronts, as part of our mission of facilitating community leadership to create economic prosperity. Public education is the Chamber’s No. 1 priority, with our annual Education Report Card serving more specifically as a catalog of the overall performance of Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), which serves nearly 86,000 students.

    This independent viewpoint of the successes and challenges of MNPS is important because it creates a sense of urgency in Nashville’s public education strategies to ensure that all students have access to the highest-quality education and are graduating from high school college- and career-ready.

    The 2015 Report Card, released Dec. 15, 2015, reflects more than 750 hours of research, interviews, meetings, school visits and data review by 23 volunteers, including 10 Metro Schools parents.

    Chamber President and CEO Ralph Schulz described the Report Card project as one of the most time-consuming and difficult tasks the Chamber asks volunteers to undertake. “It takes extraordinary leadership to be able to pull this off, and final recommendations serve as a planning resource to the school district and business community,” Schulz said during his remarks at the December event. 

    The data ...

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    Category: Education
  • Embark on an Adventure to Spain with the Chamber

    by Lori Odom | Feb 09, 2016

    The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will be visiting Spain in 2016, and you're invited to join us!

    The stunning southern coast of Spain, known as the Costa del Sol, has a backdrop of spectacular mountain scenery and borders the Mediterranean Sea. Relax and enjoy the rich cultural heritage, fabulous beaches and charming villages while indulging in delicious food and experiencing the hospitality of the area.

    From a first-class hotel in the renowned resort town of Torremolinos, excursion options include Seville, Rondo, Granada, the Alhambra and a relaxing journey to Mijas, along with a visit to the famous Rock of Gibraltar.

    Through April 29, the special early-bird rate for this trip is $2,949 per person, double occupancy. Prices increase $100 per person after April 29. The nine-day, seven-night adventure is scheduled November 1-9, and the price includes airport transfers, hotel, meals, day trips and airfare from Nashville!

    Space is limited, so act fast. This trip is open to both current and future Nashville Area Chamber members. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to visit the Costa del Sol, experience another culture, make new friends and build lasting memories.

    For a detailed itinerary, click here. If you have questions, please contact ...

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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Dabble Studio

    by Lindsay Chambers | Feb 08, 2016
    Q: It looks like Dabble Studio has a lot of different class options. Tell me more about what people can participate in if they come visit you.
    A: We have painting classes, cooking classes and combination cooking/painting classes! Our painting classes feature stenciled canvases and encourage creativity, while our cooking classes are intimate and hands-on, featuring 4-5 courses you help create with your team! Our combination classes include a simplified cooking lesson such as pizza-making or bolognese sauce, as well as a simplified painting lesson on an 8x10 canvas that takes place while the food cooks. Our classes are BYOB, but we also sell a variety of wine and beer. We're conveniently located in Germantown near the new Sounds stadium.

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: We'll never get tired of hearing Nashville being referred to as the "It City"! The diversity that comes with living in a city of transplants, the growth that we experience in our neighborhood every day, the inspiration that comes with living in such a creative and supportive city...what's not to love?

    Q: What's your biggest goal for your company in the next year?
    A: Our goal is, first, to ...

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  • It's Time to Nominate and Apply For the 2016 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards

    by Stephanie Winn | Feb 04, 2016

    Time's running out to nominate and apply for the 10th annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards! The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, Feb. 10, and applications are due Monday, Feb. 15. 

    NELAs are given to outstanding young professionals (under the age of 40) from 15 industry categories who have shown exemplary character – both at work, and in the community. Think about the people you know: Perhaps you have a mentee who has put in the extra mile to develop her career, or a coworker who is leading the charge through his work with a local community organization. Or, maybe you've been blowing it out of the water in your professional and personal life, and this is your year to apply!

    Every NELA winner has a different story, but they all have one thing in common: they are talented, ambitious and dedicated young leaders who are contributing to the growth of our workforce and our region's future. Join in the excitement by nominating an outstanding young professional or downloading an application today.

    The Nashville Emerging Leader Awards are presented by Lipscomb University College of Business.
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    Category: Workforce
  • Nashville Ranked Among Top Cities for Tech Graduates

    by Alex Hughes | Feb 02, 2016
    Business research firm DataFox has released a new study that ranks Nashville fifth among 10 cities that it calls "secretly great" for recent tech graduates. The ranking was based on affordability, growth potential, and the availability of mentorship and networking opportunities.

    "Nashville's sneaky-great tech scene offers career resources without the frenzy," says DataFox's writeup on Music City, which also cites low cost of living, startup density and the support provided through Nashville Entrepreneur Center's partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs.

    Nashville continues to strengthen our reputation as a tech hub, which, as the DataFox article points out, works to the advantage of recent IT graduates: "For young grads just starting to build their professional networks, a small tech scene can actually be better. Cities with a collaborative rather than cutthroat mentality provide opportunities to find mentors, grow new skills and build a durable network." We couldn't agree more!

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    Category: Workforce
  • Member Spotlight - Project Return

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jan 28, 2016
    Q: Tell us more about Project Return.
    A: Project Return is in its 37th year of service to Nashville and Middle Tennessee, dedicated solely to the success of the men and women who are returning to the community from incarceration. We propel people into employment – by the hundreds each year – while meeting their immediate, critical needs after prison. Our focus is job readiness and workforce development, and our specialty is connecting motivated job seekers with good employment opportunities at Middle Tennessee companies – changing lives, benefiting businesses, and making our community a better place to live and work.

    Q: What's your biggest goal for your nonprofit in 2016?
    A: Project Return's biggest goal for this year is to reach more people in every sense. We want to reach more people who are returning from incarceration; reach more people in the business community who are in need of a motivated workforce; and reach more people who don't know about the important work we are doing in Nashville, and why it benefits everybody in our city.

    Q: Describe a recent challenge and how you addressed it.
    A: Our challenge has been solving the riddle of connecting the motivated, well-meaning people ...
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    Category: General
  • Haslam Highlights Legislative Priorities

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jan 26, 2016
    Tennessee's strong economy and vibrant business environment were the focal points of Gov. Bill Haslam's annual address to Chamber members on Jan. 26.

    Citing the more than 100 active construction projects in Davidson County alone, Haslam said the rapid growth Tennessee and Nashville have been experiencing is no accident. "People are making smart decisions in the private sector," he said. "Let's double down on what has led to that success."

    Our state is operating with a budget surplus, and Haslam said he plans to dedicate the increased revenue toward education. Noting that Tennessee has continued to make great strides in this area, Haslam said we "can't back up" in terms of education reform.

    Haslam's Drive to 55 plan, which aims to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by 2025, will be a major emphasis of his administration during this legislative session. "Drive to 55 will continue to stoke our economy," he said.  

    Governor's Address - Jan. 26, 2016
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    Category: Legislative Issues
  • Public Meetings Scheduled For Review of Regional Transportation Plan

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jan 22, 2016
    Courtesy of the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

    Beginning later this month, residents will have the opportunity to review the update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), and provide mayors from Middle Tennessee with valuable feedback as they finalize and adopt the plan.

    Prepared by the Nashville Area MPO on behalf of its member jurisdictions, the RTP, titled Middle Tennessee Connected, represents the collective transportation goals of city and county governments, transit agencies and the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The plan outlines how those partners intend to invest federal funds to improve mobility across Davidson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties.

    The RTP is extremely important to Middle Tennessee, as it is the gateway to federal dollars and offers an opportunity for city and county governments, the state and transit agencies to develop a comprehensive document to unify priorities for transportation investments. The plan includes both short- and long-range projects and strategies that come together to build an integrated multi-modal transportation network for the region. Specifically, this plan recommends federal funds for projects developed through local comprehensive planning processes or by transit agencies such as Nashville MTA and RTA’s nMotion process.

    The public meetings will be structured in ...
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    Category: Transit
  • Help Shape Tennessee's Growth

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jan 20, 2016

    Courtesy of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

    The future of Tennessee’s economic success is directly tied to our high-speed Internet access. Having broadband access leads to an increase in educational and entrepreneurial opportunities, which helps our state build a better workforce and accelerate job creation.

    A lack of broadband access may hurt future economic development efforts, particularly in more rural areas of our state. To ensure that every community in Tennessee has the tools to succeed economically, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is conducting a statewide assessment of broadband access and usage in Tennessee. This survey will measure who in our state has broadband Internet access, and how they are using it. 

    Through March 15, businesses and residents may take the online assessment at

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  • ScaleUp Nashville Names First Cohort of Small Businesses

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jan 12, 2016
    The Nashville Area Chamber has announced the small businesses selected to participate in the first cohort of ScaleUp Nashville, the local version of ScaleUp America, a Small Business Administration-funded program designed to support entrepreneurs with business training and networking.

    Our small business initiative, Business Studio, was awarded an initial grant of $218,000 from the SBA in November to launch ScaleUp Nashville, with the potential for funding of more than $1 million over five years. Business Studio will partner with Pathway Lending’s Women’s Business Center, Refinery Nashville and the Entrepreneur Center on the 12-week accelerator program.

    The 2016 ScaleUp Nashville first cohort includes:
    • AJ Media Services, which provides compelling professional video-media and skilled editing services for government agencies, corporations, small businesses, nonprofits and universities.
    • Batch Nashville, a retail and gift company which helps individuals and corporate customers discover and give the tastes and products from their favorite Southern cities.
    • The Dailey Method Nashville, a fitness studio using spinal alignment and orthopedically safe movement for a full-body workout, incorporating elements of yoga, Pilates and ballet.
    • Diamond Restoration, which provides infection prevention and control services to the health care industry.
    • Finnley’s Good Findings, a women’s apparel and accessories boutique for the trendy young ...
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