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  • 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
  • Where Are the 'Young and Restless' Going?

    by Nancy Eisenbrandt | Mar 23, 2015
    Increasingly, well-educated young people, 25- to 35-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher, are moving to the urban cores of the U.S.’s largest cities. Nashville is no exception. “The Young and the Restless and the Nation’s Cities” report, recently published by City Observatory, used data from the American Community Survey to cover this important trend.  

    The rate of migration in the United States has been slowing for the past two decades, but young adults with four-year college degrees continue to be among the most mobile demographic. The migration of this talent is driving economic growth and revitalization. In Nashville, the number of well-educated young people in our city center increased 61 percent from 2000 to 2012. In addition, the four-year degree attainment rate of 25-to 34-year-olds increased from 31.6 percent in 2000 to 38.8 percent in 2012.

    The growing preference of talented young workers for downtown living is influencing the location decisions of companies. In the knowledge economy, access to talent is a critical competitive factor for fast-growing firms. In Nashville, ServiceSource, Asurion, UBS and Bridgestone have all recently decided to locate or expand in the urban core.

    Well-educated people are more likely to move, and the likelihood of ...

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    Category: Workforce
  • White House Official Visits Nashville Region to Discuss Impact of Trade

    by Lori Odom | Mar 19, 2015
    I recently joined Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper and Jerry Abramson, director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, for a tour of Goodlettsville-based manufacturer Des-Case and a discussion of how exports to overseas markets promote U.S. job growth.

    The Des-Case visit comes as President Obama is proposing expanded trade promotion authority to three of America’s top four export markets: Canada, Mexico and the U.K. The White House is also asking Congress to approve new trade agreements with the European Union and 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Des-Case has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Nashville Export Assistance Center to expand its reach to markets in Central and South America, and, more recently, to Australia and the Philippines.

    Nashville is among the top 40 exporting metro areas in the U.S., exporting nearly $9 billion of locally produced goods around the globe. The Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) saw exports grow by more than 35 percent from 2012 to 2013, the most recent year for available statistics. More than 1,600 companies in the Nashville MSA are exporters of products or services to foreign markets; 82 percent of those are classified as small or ...
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  • Member Spotlight - From the Heart International Educational Services

    by Lindsay Chambers | Mar 12, 2015
    Q: How do you define success?
    A: By the number of lives that we touch, inspire and empower. We have a relentless desire to help transform students, educators and the community at large. Through our well-researched transformational models, we are assured that we have the capacity to bring about success.

    Q: How has Chamber membership benefited your company?

    A: Although we have just begun exploring our Chamber membership, so far it has afforded us the opportunity to network and partner with many astute professionals from various industries. We wholeheartedly believe in the Chamber’s mission of being “...dedicated to facilitating community leadership to create economic prosperity,” and we are eager to do our part to promote it and uplift our community.

    Q: How do you hope to impact the region with your business?

    A: From the Heart International Educational Services is comprised of school superintendents, school administrators, teachers, researchers, evaluators, accountants, human resources professionals, early childhood specialists, writers and former professional athletes, who all have a passion for creating structural changes in public education. Collectively, we have more than 200 years of professional experience, and most of us are survivors of the same disparaging situations that plague marginalized students attending today's ...
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    Category: General
  • Obama Selects Nashville For New Tech Talent Initiative

    by Alex Hughes | Mar 11, 2015
    President Barack Obama has tapped Nashville as one of 21 partner cities for TechHire, a new nationwide initiative that seeks to address our country's need for more tech talent.

    TechHire is a $100 million program that seeks to create more workers with in-demand skills such as software development, cybersecurity and technology engineering. Nationally, there are more than 500,000 job openings in tech-related fields. The average salary for a job that requires IT skills is 50 percent higher than average private-sector jobs, according to U.S. government data.

    In Middle Tennessee, there were more than 1,300 unfilled tech positions as of 2014, up from 872 in 2013. At the Chamber, we've been focused on this high regional demand for tech skills as a key component of our overall workforce strategies for the past several years. In 2013, we launched WorkIT Nashville, a regional initiative that seeks to attract more IT employees to Middle Tennessee through a collaborative marketing campaign and job board. We also closely partner with the Nashville Technology Council, which will oversee the TechHire initiative locally, as well as both K-12 and higher education providers.

    Middle Tennessee's tech and entrepreneurial landscape has grown exponentially in the past five years, but ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Government Strategies Rely On Business Input

    by Debby Dale Mason | Mar 10, 2015

    Both local and state government offices are asking for public feedback to help them define future strategies.

    The Mayor's Diversity Advisory Committee is seeking citizen input about ways to increase employee diversity within Metro Government. Their online survey, which is open to Davidson County residents through March 20, addresses the question of how Metro's workforce can most effectively include and reflect the changing population of Davidson County.

    Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has opened an online survey to collect feedback from Tennesseans to help shape TDOT's future public involvement strategy.

    We encourage you to participate in these surveys as a member of Middle Tennessee's business community.


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    Category: General
  • VIPs Get Inside Look At H.G. Hill Middle Prep

    by Rita McDonald | Mar 05, 2015

    Some clichés about middle school students are hard to resist. Middle school kids are, in fact, young people in various stages of puberty. Often the height differential between tallest and shortest seems best measured in feet versus inches. But a single afternoon at H.G. Hill Middle Prep proves other clichés – unexpressive teens with downcast eyes, shuffling between classes just waiting for school to be dismissed – absolutely untrue.

    Earlier this week, more than 50 guests participated in a VIP tour of H.G. Hill, co-sponsored by the Nashville Area Chamber and the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. This tour – the third in a series of four designed to highlight the transformational work occurring within MNPS middle schools – focused on project-based learning and extracurricular activities. Guests were greeted in the school’s parking lot by eighth-graders, welcomed at the front doors by fifth-graders, and entertained before the formal program by an all-student rock band. Remarks by Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register and Chief Academic Officer Jay Steele acknowledged that middle school has long received a bad rap and traditionally has been a time of departure of students from MNPS. But that trend is changing with the introduction of a ...

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  • Regional Chambers Weigh In On No Child Left Behind Reauthorization

    by Marc Hill | Mar 03, 2015
    Sen. Lamar Alexander is leading the effort to reauthorize the federal education law this year, and Tennessee's four regional chambers of commerce have weighed in on behalf of the business community. Alexander is the new chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which will be responsible for crafting the new legislation. In response to Alexander’s call for public input last month, the Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville Area Chambers of Commerce submitted a letter sharing our perspective on accountability, flexibility of federal funds, early childhood education and teacher quality. You can read our letter here.

    The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was first passed in 1965, providing federal funds to states and local school districts to support K-12 education. Over the years, ESEA has been reauthorized by Congress to include accountability requirements in exchange for these federal resources. The most recent reauthorization of ESEA in 2002, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, required 100 percent of students to reach proficiency in math and reading by 2014. Schools and school districts whose students did not make “adequate yearly progress” toward the 100 percent proficiency goal faced stiff sanctions, including the potential for state takeover. ...
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    Category: Education