Professionals, entrepreneurs and new graduates can find top-notch support in Tennessee.
Thinking about relocating for better career or business opportunities? Consider moving to Tennessee.>
Across the state, communities are developing programs and initiatives aimed at developing and retaining a diverse and educated talent pool.>
Building relationships is key to career advancement, which is why the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors a number of programs to help professionals foster relationships and make connections that can advance their careers and grow their businesses.>
Intro Nashville, for example, works with companies to give their new hires a chance to learn more about the community while networking with other professionals.>
The chamber’s Leadership Connect gives select entrepreneurs a boost with a six-month mentorship program that pairs them with seasoned business and community leaders to discover and discuss what is needed to move the region forward.
“Participating in Leadership Connect has fed my knowledge of our community â€“ knowledge of how we got where we are, of players I can emulate, of the delicate gears and levers in our economy that I previously took for granted, of programs I can support, and of the work that remains to be done as we continue to lift up our communities,” says Jay Morgan, owner and CEO of Comstasis, an IT services company in Nashville.
Morgan says Leadership Connect also gave him new skills and insights to grow his business.
“Leadership Connect has had a very positive impact on my business and on myself as an individual. I made some good connections and gained a degree of exposure from the program, which, in turn, has helped business,” Morgan says. “More than that, the program really helped me think about the part I and my business can and should play in the greater community.”
Grooming the Next Generation in Memphis
In West Tennessee, New Memphis, a nonprofit that focuses on talent, operates Campus to Career, a free program that connects college students with networks and professional opportunities in Tennessee.
“Young people today have all kinds of organizations that provide support and foundational work for them,” says Beverly Robertson, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.
“Memphis is a great place for growing into a career. We have organizations like New Memphis that create mentorship programs for young people. And at the chamber, we have a Young Professionals Council that is ripe with opportunities, whether it be help with funding for entrepreneurs, technical assistance for new companies or professional development.”
Networking in Chattanooga and Kingsport
The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors a number of programs to help young professionals network with each other and find mentors within the business community.
ChattaNewbies, for example, helps introduce newly relocated professionals to Chattanooga through a series of networking activities.
Protege Chattanooga, a nine-month mentoring program for early- and mid-career professionals, connects them with industry executives to help them grow their careers.
The Kingsport Chamber’s PEAK program helps nurture young talent by hosting networking events, providing professional development and training, and giving young professionals opportunities to get involved in the community.
Tennessee Programs Help Refugees Find Employment
While many programs, such as PEAK and Protege, focus on growing the careers of new arrivals or established professionals, other organizations work to help the most underserved newcomers join the workforce for the first time.
“We not only help our clients find jobs, but we also help them become self-sufficient,” says Marina Peshterianu, associate director of Bridge Refugee Services.
“Because we’re social service providers as well as employment specialists, we really get to know our clients, and we build relationships with the companies and startups that employ them.
“Our clients work in a wide range of industries, from small little coffee shops to Volkswagen, Amazon and other major companies. They bring an unmatched work ethic. I think what we do is a really good approach to workforce development.”
Peshterianu says Tennessee’s welcoming spirit, affordability and diverse cultural and business communities make it a great fit for refugee relocation. She points to several of the organization’s success stories as proof.
“Success comes in many different forms,” she says. “Whether it be the client who wins an Academy Award for his documentary because he found employment at a television station where he was able to hone his skills, or the single mother who came from another country with two little children and, through employment, was able to reach self-sufficiency with a car and an apartment and hopefully soon a house.”
Want to learn more about relocating to Tennessee? Check out the latest edition of the Tennessee Economic Development Guide.