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  • Freshman Career Exploration Fair Helps Guide Students' Futures

    by Rita McDonald | Oct 30, 2014

    This week, more than 7,000 Metro freshmen converged at the Music City Center for the annual "My Future, My Way" Career Exploration Fair. Presented by Shoney's, the fair is an opportunity for students to connect with business volunteers, participate in hands-on activities, and learn more about various career choices and the educational pathways associated with reaching their career goals. It also helps students begin to think about what career academies they might choose for the remainder of their high school career.

    In preparation for the career fair, students completed career exploration research, guided by their teachers. They also learned about professional dress, behavior and resume writing. Students also participate in a follow-up essay contest to reinforce what they’ve learned and to help them continue to think regularly about their career aspirations.

    The CEO Champions, a group of local business leaders who serve as public supporters of the Academies of Nashville, had a special meeting at the Music City Center on the day of the career fair, followed by a tour of the exhibit hall. Their enthusiasm and positive feedback about the interaction between the students and business partners helped underscore what makes the career fair such a special opportunity for ...

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    Category: Education
  • Member Spotlight - Sprint

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 29, 2014

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: This area has a strong economy and very positive business environment which is attractive to new businesses, and an influx of talent, especially bold entrepreneurs. That is reflected in the broad range of interesting and diverse businesses you see here, most with their own unique niches but growing and trying something new. There is also a real ethic among businesspeople in Middle Tennessee toward doing the right thing for customers and peers. That really fosters strong loyalty among the customers, who appreciate that the businesses are loyal to them in return.

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for business owners?

    A: Keep learning. Have an open mind when you talk to your customers, fellow business owners and peers in the community; anyone can offer you new ideas and inspiration. Innovation is the only way to improve on operating your business more effectively and profitability. When it comes to technology, the greatest gains in revenue will come from how you use your information. The faster you can access information in real time, the greater impact you’re going to have on generating top-line revenue. The more analytics you can ...

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    Category: General
  • Committing to Improve Postsecondary Attainment Rates in Robertson County

    by Laura Moore | Oct 23, 2014
    In 2009, Robertson County was faced with a critical choice.

    That year, a referendum was placed on the ballot to determine if voters would approve construction of Robertson County’s first higher-education facility. Voters’ ultimate approval of Highland Crest, a satellite campus for Austin Peay State University and Volunteer State Community College, kicked off a process that was marked by significant collaboration and partnership. A local resident donated land for the facility, Springfield leaders provided millions of dollars for construction, and Springfield’s NorthCrest Medical Center fronted the operational costs for the first two years.

    Fast-forward to five years later, and that building served as the backdrop to another critical educational challenge: How will Middle Tennessee ensure it has the workers with the necessary skills to fill a projected workforce deficit of 35,000 workers by 2021? That was the question that united a group of leaders from Robertson County at a meeting earlier this year hosted by Robertson County Mayor Howard Bradley and Springfield Mayor Billy Paul Carneal.

    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 of the 2013 report (and the ...
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    Category: Research
  • Previewing Nashville's Future

    by Rita McDonald | Oct 23, 2014
    City planners project that about 185,000 new residents and 326,000 jobs will come to Davidson County by 2040. How do we proactively prepare for that growth and lay the groundwork for a better future? That's the question the NashvilleNext process seeks to answer by collecting input throughout our communities.

    Throughout this past summer, NashvilleNext conducted a series of 25 public discussions where Nashvillians could review three possible "futures" - ways our city and county can grow and thrive over the next two and a half decades. The three futures were assessed for their impact on the most important values Nashvillians identified in the community meetings.

    Planners have used the public input to create a "preferred future" which will be unveiled to the public Thursday, Oct. 30. The meeting will be at 5 p.m. at Rocketown (601 Fourth Ave. S.). Or attend one of these other upcoming meetings for information and to share your input:
    • Monday, Nov. 3 – Whites Creek High School, 6 p.m.
    • Thursday, Nov. 6 – Hillwood High School, 6 p.m.
    • Monday, Nov. 10 – McGavock High School, 6 p.m.
    • Thursday, Nov. 20 – Southeast Library Complex (at the Global Mall), 6 p.m.

    As a member of the ...
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    Category: General
  • Chamber's Economic Development Efforts Garner National Accolades

    by Courtney Ross | Oct 22, 2014
    Only a handful of other metropolitan areas in the nation are experiencing the level of economic prosperity we're enjoying in Middle Tennessee. In terms of job creation, the 2013-2014 fiscal year was the most successful in the history of our Partnership 2020 economic development initiative, and we're well on track to have another record-setting year, with 2,852 new jobs new jobs created in the past month from corporate relocations and expansions.

    This week, our economic development efforts received accolades from two national organizations. And while it's always exciting to see our city earn national press coverage, it's especially gratifying when our efforts to build Middle Tennessee's economy are favorably compared to our peer cities.

    A benchmarking survey released Monday by Colorado-based Atlas Advertising places the Chamber third in the nation for capital investment announced in 2014. Compared to similarly sized organizations, we announced more than $2.26 billion in capital investment.

    Additionally, we are proud that a new survey of U.S. corporate executives and location advisors ranks the Chamber the No. 4 “best-in-class” regional economic development agency in the nation, with 11 percent of respondents identifying us as a top economic development organization.

    We are excited to be recognized for our ...

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  • Leaders from Other Cities Benchmark Against Nashville

    by Debby Dale Mason | Oct 21, 2014
    As Nashville continues to earn national press for our quality of life, thriving economy and abundant entertainment opportunities, the number of cities and their chambers of commerce looking at our city as a benchmark has increased considerably.

    In the last 18 months, representatives from 15 cities have visited or are planning to visit Nashville, with leadership delegations ranging in size from 40 to 200. Just within the last month, we have welcomed groups from El Paso, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Sacramento and Denver to meet local and regional leaders and learn from our best practices in public education, economic development, public policy, entrepreneurship and placemaking. We are also looking forward to hosting delegations from Richmond and Charlotte in the first half of 2015.

    As a service to these groups, our Chamber helps coordinate their visits, connects them with the right community contacts, and recommends topics, speakers and venues for their agendas.

    Each year, our Chamber takes more than 100 leaders from the Nashville region on the Leadership Study Mission, where we spend three days in another city studying a variety of timely topics identified as community priorities. Our 24th annual Leadership Study Mission will be April 26-28 in Salt Lake City. For more ...
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  • Attracting and Retaining Middle Tennessee's Top Talent

    by Alex Hughes | Oct 20, 2014
    Projections indicate that, by 2021, Middle Tennessee will lack as many as 35,000 workers to fill the jobs that are coming to our region. We know the majority of jobs in the coming decades will require a college degree or professional certification. One of our top priorities is to proactively address this by increasing the number of Middle Tennesseans with the skills, training and education they need to take advantage of our region's job growth. Through the work of our Vital Signs Action Team, the Middle Tennessee Workforce Alliance and our overall talent attraction and retention strategies, we are filling skills gaps, tackling the future workforce shortage and helping maintain our regional economic competitiveness.

    According to a recent USA TODAY analysis, IT workers such as computer engineers and software developers are expected to be among our nation's most lucrative and in-demand professions in the next three years. This is great news for anyone currently majoring in computer science, but it also builds a strong case to encourage those who may be considering additional training to pursue a career change. In the Nashville region, our economic growth in the past several years has been spurred, in part, by our vibrant tech ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Tracking Our Progress on the Drive to 55

    by Laura Moore | Oct 17, 2014
    There’s an old saying that goes, “What gets measured gets done.”

    Last week, the Nashville Area Chamber released the 2014 Nashville Region’s Vital Signs report to 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. The goal is to learn from what we’re doing well and address areas of opportunity to ensure that Middle Tennessee remains a place where natives and newcomers want to live, work and play.

    This year’s report highlights a lot of good news: our economy is strong and getting even better, more and more people are choosing our region as a place to live, our cost of living remains low while incomes increase, and our residents are more likely to be civically engaged than people in our competitor regions.

    For all the good news, the report also highlighted areas that must be addressed if we want to remain a region of choice.   

    One of these areas continues to be the need to increase the number of Middle Tennesseans who hold a degree after high school. When we look to 2021, we project we will be ...

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  • YP Nashville Helps Hundreds of Young Professionals Find Their Fit

    by Alex Hughes | Oct 17, 2014
    Guest post by Amanda Wyler Mazzo, Mazzo Media, Chamber member since 2014 and 2014-2015 YP Nashville chair

    I look forward to fall every year. Not only for the cooler weather, fun holidays and pumpkin spice, but also because of the Chamber's YP Nashville Connect – one of my favorite events! Where else can you meet people, discover opportunities to get involved, and take home some neat swag all in one night?

    Rocketown was filled with old friends and new faces on October 16! In case you weren't there, here's some of what you missed:
    • Delicious bites from Blue Coast Burrito, Chick-fil-A, Grillit, Doorstep Delivery and 312 Pizza Company and refreshing beverages from Jamba Juice, Kickin' Coffee & Tea, Blackstone Brewery and One Hope Wine
    • Slap-koozies from the Iroquois Steeplechase Alliance
    • A chance to win a new bike from Regions Bank
    • Playing a theremin at the Adventure Science Center Young Professionals booth
    • Creating “street art” at the 12th & Broad booth
    • An invitation to Nashville Junior Chamber's after-party at Czann's Brewing Co.
    • Unique networking opportunities with fellow young professionals and community organizations

    Because this was the fourth event of its kind, the best part was to see how much YP Connect ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Chinese Television Spotlights Nashville's Growth

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 14, 2014
    Nashville Area Chamber President and CEO Ralph Schulz was one of several Nashvillians interviewed this week for a segment to be broadcast on CCTV-America, the American division of the English-language news channel run by China Central Television.

    CCTV is profiling Nashville, along with Chicago, St. Louis and Louisville, in advance of the November elections. In his conversation with Schulz, Sean Calebs, Washington correspondent for CCTV-America, focused on Nashville’s economic vibrancy and remarkable growth relative to similarly sized cities.

    “I think the essential secret is that we’ve got a lot of creative people in Nashville,” Schulz said. “A quarter of the businesses here are entrepreneurial in nature; the music community brings a lot of creative people here, [and] they’re all ‘idea makers;’ that’s part of the reason we’re so hot.”

    The CCTV crew spent several days in Nashville, interviewing a broad cross-section of music industry and business leaders, including local guitar dealer George Gruhn and banjo artist Abigail Washburn. An air date for the story will be announced once the crew returns to Washington and completes final edits.

    Chamber President & CEO Ralph Schulz discusses Nashville's economy with Sean Calebs, Washington correspondent for CCTV-America, the American division of a Chinese English-language ...
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    Category: General