CLINTON—Leaders from business, local, and post-secondary education across Anderson County gathered at the Hollingsworth Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership on Tuesday for an Anderson County Workforce Development Training Resources Luncheon hosted by the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Education and Workforce Development Council. The council plans for this to be the first of a series of in-depth county-wide discussions about how to ensure that our educational resources are focused at meeting the businesses workforce needs in Anderson County.
Randy Boyd, Governor Bill Haslam’s special adviser on higher education, spoke about Tennessee’s “Drive to 55” initiative and the five main aspects to this statewide initiative: get students ready, get them into school, get them out of school, finish what we started with adult students, and tie education directly to workforce needs.
“There are nearly a million Tennesseans that have some college credit but no degree—that’s an untapped pool of people that we can get to complete a certificate or degree,” Boyd said.
He also discussed the tremendous opportunity that Tennessee Promise provides for our high school graduates by providing two years of community college with no tuition or fees and with the added support of a mentor for each student!
A panel of experts discussed the training opportunities available for local industries in Anderson County as well as resources for job creation tax credits and other workforce development initiatives currently underway locally. The panel consisted of Chris Whaley of Roane State Community College; Teri Brahams of Pellissippi State Community College; Dwight Murphy from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology; Hoppy Merryman from GEAR UP; Larry Foster from Anderson County Schools; Gary Human from Tennessee Economic and Community Development; and Chris Tiller with East Tennessee Human Resource Agency.
A special thanks to Junior Achievement President Chip Reed for hosting the event and Pam Wilson, director of the Anderson County Schools Culinary Arts Program for providing the lunch.
The Council is working to continue the dialogue on how our county can create a workforce development system that connects all the available resources in our communities. In addition to learning about the educational resources we have available, top employers that were in attendance will now be asked to help to identify action steps for this council and other community leaders to put in place an effective workforce pipeline that meets the demand of businesses and promotes job creation now and in the future.
For more information, contact the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce at (865) 457-2559.
This press release submitted by the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce.