Workforce Development

Supplying Residents With the Skills They Need

With numerous logistics, transportation, and manufacturing powerhouses headquartered and operating in the Scenic City, there is a high demand for skilled labor. In order to fill these positions and allow businesses to continue executing at a high level, several workforce development programs have been established to support local business needs and provide the community with new skilled job opportunities.

 

At the state level, Governor Bill Lee founded the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act, which focuses on vocational and technical training provided through partnerships between industry professionals, state colleges, and local schools. Since the act’s creation, approximately $50 million has been invested to support workforce development across Tennessee, and an estimated 8,000 students were impacted by the first round of grants.

 

But it’s not just students who are seeing a change in the educational resources landscape. In response to the displacement of workers due to COVID-19, in 2021 the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development partnered with online learning platform Coursera to offer unemployed Tennesseans access to 4,000 free online courses. Here in Chattanooga, several workforce development programs have been created or expanded, mirroring the state’s commitment to seeing individuals and businesses succeed. In early 2021, the Public Education Foundation received a $1 million donation that will allow it to add 15 additional eLabs (digital fabrication spaces) to its existing lineup over the next three years.

 

In fall 2021, Steam Logistics also received the green light from the city council to proceed with its PILOT program, which would establish several workforce development programs and create 400 jobs. Around the same time, organization Project Return entered into the Chattanooga market with a goal to reduce recidivism by partnering formerly incarcerated individuals with area businesses. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga added a cybersecurity workforce certificate training program to help fill some of Tennessee’s roughly 6,700 open cybersecurity positions, and banking powerhouse Truist also recently partnered with the college to facilitate additional paid internship opportunities in the community for engineering and computer science students. In addition, work started in fall 2021 on the Construction Career Center, which will provide the curriculum needed for high school students and adults to meet the demands of area construction employers. On top of these new programs, several organizations have been offering education and training for years and continue to pave the way for the area’s workforce.

 

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 has long been focused on increasing the number of Hamilton County residents with a post-secondary degree or credential. Some more recent goals of the organization include having 80% of students proficient in reading by the third grade, 80% of students graduate on time and prepared for college or a career, and to double the number of young adults making a thriving wage by 2030. 

 

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 members of the community 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 economic opportunities and community development by connecting residents with career openings, training, and educational programs. In addition to general educational and job search resources, the Office of Workforce Development is specifically focused on providing resources tailored to the needs of the healthcare, hospitality, information technology, logistics, manufacturing, and construction industries.

 

The Enterprise Center

Nonprofit organization The Enterprise Center focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship while simultaneously supporting job creation, business resiliency and growth, and digital equity. The organization maintains an innovation district, which provides a space for the city’s students, innovators, thinkers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate, and one of the organization’s most popular programs is 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

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has a variety of programs and initiatives that are designed to support the local education system. In addition to its focus on primary, secondary, and post-secondary education, the Chamber also offers aid for expanded vocational and technical training programs and aims to champion criminal justice reform, diversity and inclusion, and funding for work-based learning grants. 

 

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 is 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 internships across Hamilton County and encourage more students to pursue 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 is 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 coursework.

 

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.

 

The 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 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.

Workforce Development

Chatt Choices™

Volkswagen eLabs

Volkswagen eLabs

Chattanooga Area Chamber

Chattanooga Area Chamber

Supplying Residents With the Skills They Need

With numerous logistics, transportation, and manufacturing powerhouses headquartered and operating in the Scenic City, there is a high demand for skilled labor. In order to fill these positions and allow businesses to continue executing at a high level, several workforce development programs have been established to support local business needs and provide the community with new skilled job opportunities. 

 

At the state level, Governor Bill Lee founded the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Act, which focuses on vocational and technical training provided through partnerships between industry professionals, state colleges, and local schools. Since the act’s creation, approximately $50 million has been invested to support workforce development across Tennessee, and an estimated 8,000 students were impacted by the first round of grants. 

 

But it’s not just students who are seeing a change in the educational resources landscape. In response to the displacement of workers due to COVID-19, in 2021 the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development partnered with online learning platform Coursera to offer unemployed Tennesseans access to 4,000 free online courses. Here in Chattanooga, several workforce development programs have been created or expanded, mirroring the state’s commitment to seeing individuals and businesses succeed. In early 2021, the Public Education Foundation received a $1 million donation that will allow it to add 15 additional eLabs (digital fabrication spaces) to its existing lineup over the next three years.

 

In fall 2021, Steam Logistics also received the green light from the city council to proceed with its PILOT program, which would establish several workforce development programs and create 400 jobs. Around the same time, organization Project Return entered into the Chattanooga market with a goal to reduce recidivism by partnering formerly incarcerated individuals with area businesses. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga added a cybersecurity workforce certificate training program to help fill some of Tennessee’s roughly 6,700 open cybersecurity positions, and banking powerhouse Truist also recently partnered with the college to facilitate additional paid internship opportunities in the community for engineering and computer science students. In addition, work started in fall 2021 on the Construction Career Center, which will provide the curriculum needed for high school students and adults to meet the demands of area construction employers. On top of these new programs, several organizations have been offering education and training for years and continue to pave the way for the area’s workforce.

 

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 has long been focused on increasing the number of Hamilton County residents with a post-secondary degree or credential. Some more recent goals of the organization include having 80% of students proficient in reading by the third grade, 80% of students graduate on time and prepared for college or a career, and to double the number of young adults making a thriving wage by 2030.  

 

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 members of the community 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 economic opportunities and community development by connecting residents with career openings, training, and educational programs. In addition to general educational and job search resources, the Office of Workforce Development is specifically focused on providing resources tailored to the needs of the healthcare, hospitality, information technology, logistics, manufacturing, and construction industries. 

 

The Enterprise Center

Nonprofit organization The Enterprise Center focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship while simultaneously supporting job creation, business resiliency and growth, and digital equity. The organization maintains an innovation district, which provides a space for the city’s students, innovators, thinkers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate, and one of the organization’s most popular programs is 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 

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has a variety of programs and initiatives that are designed to support the local education system. In addition to its focus on primary, secondary, and post-secondary education, the Chamber also offers aid for expanded vocational and technical training programs and aims to champion criminal justice reform, diversity and inclusion, and funding for work-based learning grants.  

 

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 is 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.

 

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

Chattanooga State Technical Community College

Public-Education-Foundation

Public Education Foundation

Step-Up Chattanooga

Another widely popular workforce development program, STEP-UP Chattanooga works to place juniors and seniors in internships across Hamilton County and encourage more students to pursue 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 is 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 coursework.

 

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.

 

The 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 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.