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  • 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
  • Celebrating Our Outstanding Young Professionals

    by Alex Hughes | Feb 04, 2015
    Guest post by Stephanie Winn, Chamber manager of talent attraction & retention

    The Chamber's YP Nashville initiative launched the Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs) program in 2006 to celebrate outstanding young leaders for their contributions to the growth of our workforce and our region. To date, the NELAs program has recognized more than 600 young professionals as finalists and award recipients in 15 industry categories.

    Every year, it's inspiring to receive hundreds of NELAs applications from throughout Middle Tennessee. These exemplary professionals are exceeding their goals, hitting their stride in their careers and making the Nashville area a better place to live and work.

    Who will be in the 2015 class of NELAs finalists and winners? Be part of the excitement by downloading a 2015 application or nominating an outstanding young professional today. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, Feb. 10, and applications from the nominees are due Tuesday, Feb. 17.

    Who should be nominated?
    We all know someone who shows admirable character, both at work and in the community. Perhaps you have a mentee who has put in the extra mile to develop his/her career, or a coworker who is leading the charge through a local community organization. Maybe ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Nashville a Top City For STEM Jobs

    by Alex Hughes | Jan 16, 2015
    Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions are some of the highest-paid, most in-demand jobs in the country. According to Department of Commerce estimates, STEM occupations will expand 1.7 times faster than non-STEM occupations between 2008 and 2018. Additionally, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show the annual average wage for all STEM jobs was $79,640 in 2013 -- a whopping 71 percent more than the national annual average wage of $46,440 for all jobs.

    This high demand is good news for Nashville as we work to maintain our competitive economy. STEM jobs are a major focus of our Chamber's workforce initiatives, specifically Middle Tennessee's tech sector. We created our WorkIT Nashville campaign almost two years ago to bring increased attention to our thriving regional tech community and the availability of highly skilled IT jobs. Last week, we were excited to see the results of a new study naming Nashville the second fastest-growing tech job market in the nation, and this week, the momentum continues with a brand-new ranking listing Nashville as one of the best metro areas for STEM professionals.

    The new STEM jobs study was conducted and published by WalletHub, an online personal finance resource. To determine the ranking, ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Nashville Named Second Fastest-growing Tech Job Market in the U.S.

    by Alex Hughes | Jan 08, 2015
    The outlook has never been brighter for technology workers in Nashville, according to a new study from tech job site As reported by Fortune magazine, the research shows Nashville is the nation's second fastest-growing market for the creation of tech jobs, having added 24 percent more tech jobs between December 2013 and December 2014 over the previous year.

    The information technology sector is a major focus of our Chamber's workforce initiatives. We launched the WorkIT Nashville campaign nearly two years ago with support from community partners to connect regional tech employers with the best talent, both nationally and internationally. The website includes a tech job board, as well as news and resources about the community for those exploring everything Nashville has to offer.

    For anyone who's been paying attention to Nashville's rapid growth, particularly in the tech sector, the results of this study probably won't come as a big surprise. 2013-2014 was a record year for job growth in Middle Tennessee across multiple industries, and experts anticipate this momentum to continue in the year ahead. In November, Business Insider named Nashville to its list of the 15 hottest U.S. cities for 2015, based on factors such as job and ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Outstanding Young Professionals, Apply For the 2015 NELAs

    by Alex Hughes | Jan 05, 2015
    Guest post by Stephanie Winn, Chamber manager of talent attraction & retention

    Applications for the ninth annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs) are available now! Download a 2015 application or nominate an outstanding young professional today. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, Feb. 10. Don't miss this opportunity to apply or nominate someone you know for this exciting award! Applications from the nominees are due Tuesday, Feb. 17.

    Can’t decide who to nominate?
    1. NELAs are given to outstanding young professionals (under the age of 40) from 15 industry categories who have demonstrated outstanding professional and personal accomplishments.
    2. Winners go above and beyond the call of duty at work and within their community.
    3. You will never hear a NELA winner say, “That’s not in my job description” or “Let someone else do it.”
    4. Winners are role models within their community or unsung heroes who work graciously with others and don’t ask for anything in return.

    Here are some friendly tips to keep in mind for your application:
    1. Your application should be free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Ask at least one trusted colleague or friend to look over it.
    2. Make sure you clearly state the results of your efforts throughout your ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Announcing Our 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards Finalists

    by Rebecca Leslie | Jun 09, 2014
    Guest post by Alex Hughes, manager of talent retention, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

    Today, we were pleased to announce the finalists for our eighth annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs). We created the NELAs to celebrate the accomplishments of young professionals in Middle Tennessee, who are not only a pillar of our workforce, but who also contribute a significant amount of time to our community through their volunteer efforts.

    Please join us in congratulating the 2014 NELAs finalists!

    We invite you to attend the Meet the NELAs Finalists networking event on Thursday, June 25. The winners of this prestigious award will be announced in a ceremony on Thursday, July 31.

    Architecture, Engineering and Construction
    Alan Hayes, Thomas, Miller & Partners, PLLC
    Brent Hughes, Gresham, Smith & Partners
    Will Radford, Lend Lease
    Kristi Schnell, Gresham, Smith & Partners
    Philip Shepard, Rochford Realty & Construction Company

    Arts, Entertainment and Music Business
    Mandy Gallagher, City National Bank
    Trina Lloyd-Weidner, Broadcast Music, Inc.
    Meagan Rhodes, 12th & Broad
    Jon Romero, Vector Management
    Jeff Syracuse, Broadcast Music, Inc.

    Business Services
    Christi Beth Adams, Fleet Feet Sports Nashville
    Nick Kiefer, Touchstone Merchandise Group, LLC
    Klay Lesko, Averitt Express
    Kevin Mahoney, Tennessee Department of Environment & ...

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    Category: Workforce
  • Is the HR Excellence Award Program Right For Your Company?

    by Rebecca Leslie | Feb 24, 2014
    Developed in 2001 by the Nashville Area Chamber and the Middle Tennessee Society for Human Resource Management, the HR Excellence Awards program recognizes Nashville-area organizations with outstanding human resources.

    In a new feature added this year, you and your team can watch the online award application information session video for tips on completing a successful HR Excellence application. After watching this 12-minute video, download the application, instructions and scoring guidelines at and get started. Applications are due by May 1.

    The HR Excellence Awards program gives participants the opportunity to assess the progress of their HR programs and identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Advice, inspiration and tools that will empower you to overcome even the toughest employment, retention, compensation and workplace quality challenges are just a few of the benefits of participating.

    If you want to leverage the power of your workforce to help you reach your business goals, the HR Excellence program is for you.

    2014 HR Excellence Timeline
    Application deadline: Thursday, May 1
    Awards luncheon: Wednesday, Aug. 20
    Best Practices Workshop: Wednesday, Oct. 15

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    Category: General