Workforce Development

Preparing the Next Generation of Skilled Workers

With transportation, manufacturing, and logistics jobs galore, the Scenic City has a strong foundation that continues to support a variety of industries. In response to the demand and growth the area has seen in these sectors, programs and resources positioned to bolster the workforce are commonplace, and the city is working every day to make sure knowledgeable and skilled employees are at the helm.

In fact, in 2020, Business Facilities magazine listed Tennessee as having the third-best business climate, and the state is also heralded as the fifth-best state nationwide when it comes to workforce development and talent acquisition.

Delivering on the focus of skilled jobs, Governor Bill Lee launched the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act in 2019 to elevate technical and vocational training through partner-ships between Tennessee colleges, industry professionals, and local schools. Locally, the City of Chattanooga offers residents numerous city- or state-led programs, as well as some that are private, which focus on educating and preparing participants for job opportunities. 

In 2020, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga teamed up with the City of Chattanooga to launch the Manufacturer’s Excellence Program, which introduces participants to the foundations of manufacturing processes and production, as well as an overview of the essential skills required to become a successful manufacturing team member. Also in 2020, Chattanooga State Community College received a $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant to purchase equipment for one of its new workforce training programs.

On top of these new programs, several organizations have been offering education and training for years and continue to pave the way for the city’s growth.

Chattanooga 2.0

Founded in 2015, Chattanooga 2.0 is a public-private partnership that brings together the Hamilton County Department of Education, The Benwood Foundation, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and Public Education Foundation (PEF) to enhance education and workforce development outcomes. The community-wide initiative focuses on two main goals – to get 75% of adults in Hamilton County to achieve a college degree or technical training certificate by 2025 and for 60% of graduates from Hamilton County public schools to obtain a post-secondary degree or credential with real market value by 2025.

Thrive Regional Partnership

With a footprint that covers 16 counties in Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia, and Northeast Alabama, Thrive Regional Partnership focuses on spurring economic development in the greater Chattanooga area. As a major focus area for the nonprofit, Thrive aims to bolster education and workforce preparedness by helping connect students of all ages with experiential learning opportunities and industry professionals.

City of Chattanooga

OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Started in 2018, the Office of Workforce Development aims to advance employment opportunities for those in need of a job by offering workforce training and education in areas such as customer service, manufacturing, hospitality, technology literacy, call centers, and even HiSET (high school equivalency test) courses. In addition to other initiatives, one of the organization’s hallmark programs is Neighborhood Navigators, which involves door-to-door canvassing to engage residents in high unemployment, low-income communities to take part in workforce development programs.

THE ENTERPRISE CENTER 

Focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in the Scenic City is nonprofit organization The Enterprise Center. Popular programs and resources include the organization’s innovation district, which provides a space for the city’s students, innovators, thinkers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate, and Tech Goes Home Chattanooga (TGHCHA), which offers free classes to improve digital skills and promote smart internet usage. After 15 hours of classroom training, TGHCHA participants have the opportunity to purchase tablets and home internet at a discounted rate. 

Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Programs 

A top priority of the organization, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce reaches 15,000 students each year through a variety of programs such as Career Crunch, a career fair for 8th graders; Reality Check, an interactive experience where 9th graders learn how to budget; Get a Job, a workshop where 10th graders practice the art of inter-viewing; and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where 11th graders learn money management. In addition to partnering with area high schools to provide these programs, the Chamber also holds an annual college and career fair. 

Urban League of Greater Chattanooga 

Young professionals and those looking for employment have access to an array of resources through Urban League’s Workforce Development program. The organization provides services that range from job search help and computer training to interview preparation and resume building. The organization also offers job fairs, computer coding classes, and employer informational sessions.

Public Education Foundation

STEM INNOVATION HUB 

In a partnership between Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the Public Education Foundation, the STEM Innovation Hub works to support teachers, principals, parents, and staff from area organizations and schools. With a focus on providing development and leadership experiences, the Innovation Hub brings individuals together to evaluate how children learn. Among some of the most popular initiatives are Teacherpreneur, a program that offers a time and space for teachers to share and execute ideas, and the Technology Lending Library where teachers can borrow an array of robotics technology and computers to use in their classrooms. The organization also maintains several Volkswagen eLabs across Hamilton County where students have access to rapid prototyping technologies like CNC routers, 3D printers, laser cutters, and traditional woodworking tools, and hosts the corresponding Chattanooga Fab Institute, a digital fabrication conference.

STEP-UP CHATTANOOGA 

Another widely popular workforce development program, Step-Up Chattanooga works to place juniors and seniors in paid internships across Hamilton County and encourages more students to pursue a post-secondary education. Through these internships, area students gain valuable skills in office communication, project management, customer service, and computer technology.

Chattanooga State Community College

Chattanooga State’s Workforce Development team is comprised of community leaders and faculty members who strive to provide training solutions to individuals and businesses. A lineup of programs, workshops, and seminars are designed to tackle skill gaps, staff development, productivity issues, and strategic planning. Partners that provide support to the organization include Gestamp, TVA, Amazon, Whirlpool, and Volkswagen Chattanooga, among others.

POLYTECH ACADEMY AT CHATTANOOGA STATE

Established in 2017, Polytech Academy offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit while staying enrolled in their high school. With courses in computer information technology, mechatronics systems, and chemical engineering technology, students can work toward earning an Associate of Applied Science degree while simultaneously completing high school course work.

CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER 

Allowing students and employees time to focus on their own needs, Chattanooga State’s Child Development Center (CDC) provides childcare to newborns and pre-K-aged children. The center works with participants’ class schedules and provides tuition assistance to low-income student parents. Students taking early childhood education courses also use the center to complete observation and practicum hours, as well as other graduation requirements.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

THE UTC COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER 

UTC’s CECS Career Development Center aims to make sure that its students graduate with sought-after skills and knowledge. The center helps students sharpen their interpersonal skills prior to entering the global workforce and promotes leadership and community service activities in order for students to gain skills and broaden their learning experience.

UTC CHALLENGER STEM LEARNING CENTER 

UTC’s Challenger STEM Learning Center, one of 45 centers of its kind, offers students hands-on STEM programs through summer camps, team building sessions, and simulated space missions. Through a relationship with numerous private and public educational entities, as well as Hamilton County public schools, the center is able to serve 8,000 students and hundreds of teachers each year.

Cleveland State Community College’s Workforce Readiness Center

Cleveland State Community College’s workforce development department works to train students for area employers looking to fill jobs. Courses in industrial technologies such as welding, PLC (programmable logistic controller), mechanics, and electrical are offered, along with classes on computer and business administration. The department also has an operational excellence division that touches on topics such as leadership, communication training, human resources, and process simplification, among others.

Did you know?

Volkswagen Academy celebrated its 10th year in 2020 and has since trained over 100 apprentices

Preparing the Next Generation of Skilled Workers

With transportation, manufacturing, and logistics jobs galore, the Scenic City has a strong foundation that continues to support a variety of industries. In response to the demand and growth the area has seen in these sectors, programs and resources positioned to bolster the workforce are commonplace, and the city is working every day to make sure knowledgeable and skilled employees are at the helm.

In fact, in 2020, Business Facilities magazine listed Tennessee as having the third-best business climate, and the state is also heralded as the fifth-best state nationwide when it comes to workforce development and talent acquisition.

Delivering on the focus of skilled jobs, Governor Bill Lee launched the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act in 2019 to elevate technical and vocational training through partner-ships between Tennessee colleges, industry professionals, and local schools. Locally, the City of Chattanooga offers residents numerous city- or state-led programs, as well as some that are private, which focus on educating and preparing participants for job opportunities. 

In 2020, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga teamed up with the City of Chattanooga to launch the Manufacturer’s Excellence Program, which introduces participants to the foundations of manufacturing processes and production, as well as an overview of the essential skills required to become a successful manufacturing team member. Also in 2020, Chattanooga State Community College received a $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant to purchase equipment for one of its new workforce training programs.

On top of these new programs, several organizations have been offering education and training for years and continue to pave the way for the city’s growth.

Chattanooga 2.0

Founded in 2015, Chattanooga 2.0 is a public-private partnership that brings together the Hamilton County Department of Education, The Benwood Foundation, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, and Public Education Foundation (PEF) to enhance education and workforce development outcomes. The community-wide initiative focuses on two main goals – to get 75% of adults in Hamilton County to achieve a college degree or technical training certificate by 2025 and for 60% of graduates from Hamilton County public schools to obtain a post-secondary degree or credential with real market value by 2025.

Thrive Regional Partnership

With a footprint that covers 16 counties in Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia, and Northeast Alabama, Thrive Regional Partnership focuses on spurring economic development in the greater Chattanooga area. As a major focus area for the nonprofit, Thrive aims to bolster education and workforce preparedness by helping connect students of all ages with experiential learning opportunities and industry professionals.

City of Chattanooga

OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Started in 2018, the Office of Workforce Development aims to advance employment opportunities for those in need of a job by offering workforce training and education in areas such as customer service, manufacturing, hospitality, technology literacy, call centers, and even HiSET (high school equivalency test) courses. In addition to other initiatives, one of the organization’s hallmark programs is Neighborhood Navigators, which involves door-to-door canvassing to engage residents in high unemployment, low-income communities to take part in workforce development programs.

THE ENTERPRISE CENTER 

Focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in the Scenic City is nonprofit organization The Enterprise Center. Popular programs and resources include the organization’s innovation district, which provides a space for the city’s students, innovators, thinkers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate, and Tech Goes Home Chattanooga (TGHCHA), which offers free classes to improve digital skills and promote smart internet usage. After 15 hours of classroom training, TGHCHA participants have the opportunity to purchase tablets and home internet at a discounted rate. 

Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Programs 

A top priority of the organization, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce reaches 15,000 students each year through a variety of programs such as Career Crunch, a career fair for 8th graders; Reality Check, an interactive experience where 9th graders learn how to budget; Get a Job, a workshop where 10th graders practice the art of inter-viewing; and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, where 11th graders learn money management. In addition to partnering with area high schools to provide these programs, the Chamber also holds an annual college and career fair. 

Urban League of Greater Chattanooga 

Young professionals and those looking for employment have access to an array of resources through Urban League’s Workforce Development program. The organization provides services that range from job search help and computer training to interview preparation and resume building. The organization also offers job fairs, computer coding classes, and employer informational sessions.

Public Education Foundation

STEM INNOVATION HUB 

In a partnership between Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the Public Education Foundation, the STEM Innovation Hub works to support teachers, principals, parents, and staff from area organizations and schools. With a focus on providing development and leadership experiences, the Innovation Hub brings individuals together to evaluate how children learn. Among some of the most popular initiatives are Teacherpreneur, a program that offers a time and space for teachers to share and execute ideas, and the Technology Lending Library where teachers can borrow an array of robotics technology and computers to use in their classrooms. The organization also maintains several Volkswagen eLabs across Hamilton County where students have access to rapid prototyping technologies like CNC routers, 3D printers, laser cutters, and traditional woodworking tools, and hosts the corresponding Chattanooga Fab Institute, a digital fabrication conference.

STEP-UP CHATTANOOGA 

Another widely popular workforce development program, Step-Up Chattanooga works to place juniors and seniors in paid internships across Hamilton County and encourages more students to pursue a post-secondary education. Through these internships, area students gain valuable skills in office communication, project management, customer service, and computer technology.

 

Workforce-Development.chattanooga-state-technical-community-college-1024x683

Chattanooga State Technical Community College

Public-Education-Foundation

Public Education Foundation

Chattanooga State Community College

Chattanooga State’s Workforce Development team is comprised of community leaders and faculty members who strive to provide training solutions to individuals and businesses. A lineup of programs, workshops, and seminars are designed to tackle skill gaps, staff development, productivity issues, and strategic planning. Partners that provide support to the organization include Gestamp, TVA, Amazon, Whirlpool, and Volkswagen Chattanooga, among others.

POLYTECH ACADEMY AT CHATTANOOGA STATE

Established in 2017, Polytech Academy offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit while staying enrolled in their high school. With courses in computer information technology, mechatronics systems, and chemical engineering technology, students can work toward earning an Associate of Applied Science degree while simultaneously completing high school course work.

CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER 

Allowing students and employees time to focus on their own needs, Chattanooga State’s Child Development Center (CDC) provides childcare to newborns and pre-K-aged children. The center works with participants’ class schedules and provides tuition assistance to low-income student parents. Students taking early childhood education courses also use the center to complete observation and practicum hours, as well as other graduation requirements.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

THE UTC COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER 

UTC’s CECS Career Development Center aims to make sure that its students graduate with sought-after skills and knowledge. The center helps students sharpen their interpersonal skills prior to entering the global workforce and promotes leadership and community service activities in order for students to gain skills and broaden their learning experience.

UTC CHALLENGER STEM LEARNING CENTER 

UTC’s Challenger STEM Learning Center, one of 45 centers of its kind, offers students hands-on STEM programs through summer camps, team building sessions, and simulated space missions. Through a relationship with numerous private and public educational entities, as well as Hamilton County public schools, the center is able to serve 8,000 students and hundreds of teachers each year.

Cleveland State Community College’s Workforce Readiness Center

Cleveland State Community College’s workforce development department works to train students for area employers looking to fill jobs. Courses in industrial technologies such as welding, PLC (programmable logistic controller), mechanics, and electrical are offered, along with classes on computer and business administration. The department also has an operational excellence division that touches on topics such as leadership, communication training, human resources, and process simplification, among others.

Did you know?

Volkswagen Academy celebrated its 10th year in 2020 and has since trained over 100 apprentices

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