Chattanooga Chamber Connects Companies, the Community and Continuous Learning

Date: October 26, 2017

(Sept. 29, 2017) – The Chattanooga Chamber continues momentum to prepare students for the future, from middle school to college and beyond.

The Chamber released an annual report summarizing results of its six career readiness programs:

  • College Day Out, hosting sixth graders from inner city and rural schools for local college visits.
  • Career Crunch, a two-day career awareness fair for eighth graders.
  • Reality Check, a budgeting lesson for ninth graders emphasizing the connection between education and income.
  • Get a Job, teaching 10th graders about interviewing, job applications, dressing for success, etc.
  • Who wants to be a millionaire?, a money management program for 11th graders.
  • College and Career Fair for 11th and 12th graders.

More than 1,100 Chamber volunteers from more than 200 companies delivered these programs, impacting 16,500 students in most of Hamilton County’s public schools. This year’s volunteer engagement with these programs represents a 7 percent increase from last year’s, allowing Chattanooga Chamber workforce programs to reach 11 percent more students.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Hamilton County students through the Chattanooga Chamber,” says Clomeisha Tumlin, Business Instructor at Chattanooga State Community College and one of the Chamber’s most active workforce development volunteers. “It allows me to transfer my knowledge. I had a student at a local high school say at the end of a Get A Job session, ‘Thanks for telling us about getting a job. Will you hire me today? I did answer and participate during the Q & A session.’ My heart smiled.”

Because of the Chamber’s programs:

  • 98 percent of students better understand how education affects future salary.
  • 96 percent will set financial goals.
  • 94 percent will continue education/training after high school.
  • 91 percent set a career or work goal.
  • 87 percent have a better understanding of different career opportunities.

Find the full report here.  

In addition to offering a range of excellent workforce development programs, the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce spearheads tnAchieves mentor recruitment in Hamilton County for the second year.

tnAchieves is the partnering organization of Tennessee Promise, a last-dollar scholarship providing the opportunity for every Tennessee high school student to earn a post-secondary credential. It funds up to $4,000 annually for five consecutive semesters at participating colleges and universities.

Mentors invest 10 to 15 hours a year assisting between five and ten high school seniors in meeting the requirements for the Tennessee Promise scholarship. They play an active role in eliminating barriers to post-secondary education — reaching out to parents and guardians, reminding students of meetings and deadlines, assisting with community service opportunities and lessening the post-secondary intimidation factor by sharing personal experiences.

The Chamber has recruited half of the mentors needed to support students who graduate in 2018. Sign up at tnachieves.org/mentors/apply/.

If you’d like to volunteer for one of the Chamber’s career readiness programs, please contact Cathy Humble at chumble@chattanoogachamber.com or 423.763.4321.