New Chattanooga Forward Report Recommends Ways To Grow Local Economy, Tackle Digital Divide

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke’s office released the first of several Chattanooga Forward recommendation reports on Thursday. The report, from the Technology, Gig, & Entrepreneur task force, was the culmination of several months of focus on how to capitalize on the technological assets of Chattanooga.

“Over the last four years, Chattanooga has attracted interest from around the world due to our high speed fiber optic infrastructure. The fact is, we have the fastest, most pervasive, and least expensive Gigabit service in the Western Hemisphere. This positions Chattanooga at the head of the curve - and ready to be a leader in the innovation century,” said Mayor Andy Berke.  “Our job now is to take these incredible assets and utilize them to grow our talent pool, attract capital investors, bridge the digital divide, and provide platforms for small businesses to succeed.”

The Tech, Gig, & Entrepreneur report combines the previous work on utilizing the gig with more recent recommendations on how to grow the city’s innovation economy and bridge the digital divide.

“We reviewed accomplishments and lessons learned over the last several years to develop a work plan that we believe will strategically position Chattanooga for the future,” said Task Force chair Sidney Crisp. “This was a collaborative effort and I am extremely encouraged to know that Mayor Berke is taking this initiative seriously. I look forward to seeing some of these recommendations become a reality.”

A key recommendation from the task force is the creation of an entity to implement the task force’s work plan on a daily basis. The report outlines that a newly created entity should explore creative strategies like “co-location of capital, business support, housing, and research to spur innovation” as well as support digital inclusion initiatives.

The Chattanooga Forward initiative kicked off last year with the creation of six task forces that were charged to thoroughly investigate a multifaceted topic and create action plans to be presented to Mayor Berke for consideration.

To learn more about the Chattanooga Forward initiative, visit: http://www.chattanooga.gov/mayors-office/chattanooga-forward


NextLevel Chattanooga Ramping Up For StreetWise ‘MBA' Class Of 2016

NexLevel Chattanooga is now recruiting fifteen local businesses for its 2016 StreetWise ‘MBA’ class. NextLevel Chattanooga is an innovative, seven-month program that provides business owners with the knowledge, know-how, and networks necessary to grow their businesses and create jobs, said officials. Small businesses that are located in the greater Chattanooga area are eligible ... (click for more)

Primerica Has Open House For New Location May 19

Primerica, Inc. will celebrate its new location with an open house and Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on Thursday, May 19, from 4-7 p.m.  The ribbon cutting will be at 4:30 p.m.   Dewayne Crawford, a national sales director, and David Walters, a regional vice president with Primerica, Inc., have expanded their office and moved to 6025 Lee Hwy., Suite 326.  Mr. ... (click for more)

Volkswagen Chattanooga Builds First Midsize SUV Test Body

Volkswagen Chattanooga has reached an early production milestone with the completion of the first assembled metal test body   for the upcoming Midsize SUV. The production of the first assembled metal test body is an early step towards the full production of the Chattanooga-made Midsize SUV, scheduled to begin production late this year and hit the market in 2017. The first ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)