First Class Of TNTrained Graduates Ready To Assist In Tennessee’s Jobs Recruitment Efforts

Monday, April 16, 2018
From left, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips and Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings addressed the first graduates of TNTrained.
From left, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips and Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings addressed the first graduates of TNTrained.
Seventy-four educators and economic and workforce development professionals have been awarded certificates as the first graduates of TNTrained, an initiative of the College System of Tennessee and its partners, the state Department of Economic and Community Development and the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
 
TNTrained’s mission is to "create a unified approach to recruiting and retaining businesses and jobs to the state by providing professionals in public higher education and state agencies with a common knowledge base of practices, strategies and skills for working with industries considering Tennessee for new locations and expansions." The program, led by the College System’s Office of Economic and Community Development, also developed a toolbox of resources for graduates to use as they work together in recruiting business. 
 
"The program will make it easier for the state agencies in charge of recruiting new business and industry to pull in the resources of the state’s community and technical colleges earlier in the recruitment process.
The colleges are often involved in providing specialized training for employees and potential employees of new industries," officials said.
 
The inaugural class of TNTrained students opened Jan. 31 for 40 hours of training, spread over four separate sessions during the next 2 and one-half months. The class concluded April 9 when the students gathered at Tennessee College of Applied Technology Murfreesboro’s new Smyrna Campus to present their capstone projects and receive their certificates. 
 
Addressing the graduates were Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips and TBR Vice Chancellor for Economic and Community Development Carol Puryear. The Board of Regents governs the system’s 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.
 
The graduates included 64 administrators, instructors and staff from the community and technical colleges, including 10 college presidents, five officials from the Department of Economic and Community Development, two from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, two from the TBR system office and one from the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services. 
 
The capstone projects were case studies in economic development projects. Students worked in small teams during the preceding sessions to plan how they would work with specific industrial prospects, then presented their plans at the final session.
 
Chancellor Tydings thanked the graduates and the College System’s state partners, including the two commissioners, for their commitment and support for TNTrained. “Thanks to the hard work of those in this room, a system approach to workforce development has been developed. With your efforts, TNTrained has created the foundation for how we as a system will advance a unified approach to attracting and retaining business and industry. Developing a shared culture and language that leverages the strengths of your institution or department is one of the best pillars that you have built.  The goal is to provide the best workforce development program in the world. TNTrained and the institutions that make this brand strong stand as a statewide system that uses a common process and shared tools and that has the ability to create relevant training for industry at a moment’s notice,” the chancellor said.
 
Commissioner Phillips agreed. “This is a great day and this is a great group of people. I would suspect that we are one of the first states – as we are in many things – to do something like this. It is incredibly important and so very much needed. Congratulations to all of you,” he said. 
 
Commissioner Rolfe said TNTrained is the latest in a line of “game changers” in Tennessee economic development. “In today’s world, recruiting new companies has become enormously competitive. What’s different about today is, when we go to recruit these companies with our colleagues inside of ECD, we now include Labor and Workforce Development and TBR. What I’m so excited about is we include your professionals and your teams on the front end.”
 
Vice Chancellor Puryear, who helped develop TNTrained, told the graduates, “I started the session in January by saying we had the best workforce leaders in the room. As I stand here today and after watching the presentations, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, you are the best and I am proud to have been a part of the TNTrained sessions with you.”  
 
Front-end involvement by colleges and universities is important, the officials agreed, because companies are focused on education and quality of the workforce as they decide where to invest in new or expanded locations. 
 
For example, when the Belgian manufacturer Van Hool NV announced its decision last week to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Morristown, Tn., CEO Filip Van Hool said, “The presence of highly regarded technical colleges and well-trained workers in Hamblen County, together with the support and cooperation of all parties involved, convinced the Van Hool executive board to make the largest investment outside Belgium in the company’s 71-year history."
 
The company is investing $47 million in a facility to manufacture public transit and commuter vehicles for U.S. transit agencies. The decision will create 640 jobs in the Morristown area over five years.

Spectruss Adds Business Development Hire James Knicely

Ruby Falls Honors 3 Employees With Annual Steiner Scholarship

Tech Goes Home Graduation Caps Off A Year Of Milestones


Spectruss, a full-service marketing agency based in the Chattanooga area, has added James Knicely to the team as account manager. Mr. Knicely joins Spectruss with a background working with ... (click for more)

Ruby Falls announces the selection of three employees to receive the annual John Thomas Steiner, Sr. Memorial Scholarship. Farin Cloyd, Clayton Curole and Ashley Brotherton are receiving the ... (click for more)

More than 700 people, from age 2 to 82, have completed courses through Tech Goes Home Chattanooga this year. Participants and the public are invited to a graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, ... (click for more)


Business

Spectruss Adds Business Development Hire James Knicely

Spectruss, a full-service marketing agency based in the Chattanooga area, has added James Knicely to the team as account manager. Mr. Knicely joins Spectruss with a background working with large commercial accounts including Comcast, IKEA, NBC and Marriott. As the account manager, he will drive all aspects of business development and sales at Spectruss. Some of the responsibilities ... (click for more)

Ruby Falls Honors 3 Employees With Annual Steiner Scholarship

Ruby Falls announces the selection of three employees to receive the annual John Thomas Steiner, Sr. Memorial Scholarship. Farin Cloyd, Clayton Curole and Ashley Brotherton are receiving the award for "their distinguished passion and commitment to their academic careers." Ms. Cloyd began working at Ruby Falls in October of 2016 as a cashier and tour guide. As the vice president ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Detective Says He Was Bit, Kicked, Spit On By Rapper During Controversial Arrest; Federal Authorities To Investigate

A county detective said he was bit, kicked and spit on during a controversial arrest of an aspiring rapper on Dec. 3. District Attorney Neal Pinkston, after reviewing video taken by a neighbor on Donaldson Road of the Dec. 3 incident, has referred the investigation to the U.S. Justice Department. Detective Blake Kilpatrick, who has since been placed on desk duty, said he and ... (click for more)

Popular Young Reporter For NewsChannel 9 Terminated By Sinclair As She Battles Cancer

A popular young reporter for NewsChannel 9 has been terminated by Sinclair Broadcasting as she battles cancer. Alex George wrote on her Twitter account on Friday, " Hi all, I want to clarify for those who asked. I want to assure you that treatment is going incredibly well. The decision was not made by me it was @WeAreSinclair . They terminated my contract." The 22-year-old ... (click for more)

Opinion

TVA Land Grab

The Georgetown land grab is just ‘Business as Usual’ for TVA. For the past 80 years they’ve shown their stripes in this matter - 170,000 acres seized at LBL, countless acreage taken in the Tennessee River Valley. Land taken for coal and nuclear sites. All by the same play book. All from average people. We want this, you have this, we get this. I worked with TVA as a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: USA Today Is Wrong

After spending half of a century in the newspaper business, you will find it universal that one’s “personal ethics” demand you leave children off the news page. You don’t interview an 11-year-old who just watched her house burn down and now can’t find her kitty. You don’t take a kid’s picture at his daddy’s trial and, more than anything, never publish a word that would cause a child ... (click for more)