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October 23, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Events, other opportunities, and an interim leader top this week’s “News & Notes” feature

Several upcoming events and other opportunities, along with the appointment of an Interim President and Chief Executive Officer for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, top this week’s “News & Notes” feature.

From Oak Ridge:

  • The East Tennessee Economic Council and the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce are hosting another of the periodic “Business Lunch Live” sessions this Wednesday, October 26. It will feature Ashley Stowe, Director of the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center operated by the Y-12 National Security Complex. He will explain how Y-12 will be leveraging learning technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality for high-consequence nuclear and radiological alarm response training. In addition, Stowe will provide a virtual tour of this new state-of-the-art facility. To register, click here.
  • Kairos Power will host a virtual community meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. EST November 3 to provide an update on the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor planned for the Heritage Center. Click here for more info and to register. Then, less than two weeks later, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a hybrid public meeting regarding the environmental impact statement for the demonstration reactor. The in-person session will held from 7 to 9 p.m. EST November 16 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Oak Ridge. Click here for more information.

From Chattanooga:

Charles Wood, Vice President of Economic Development for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, has been selected to serve as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization when Christy Gillenwater begins her new role as President and CEO of Greater Oklahoma City Chamber in January 2023. Wood joined the Chattanooga Chamber in 2012 and has worked alongside several City government and Hamilton County government administrations. He led the creation of the Chattanooga Chamber’s first economic and talent development strategy and supported the creation of more than 14,000 jobs and billions of dollars of investment in the Chattanooga region. Prior to joining the Chattanooga Chamber, Wood held positions at chambers of commerce in Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama as well as economic development positions in Texas and Mississippi.

For Individuals in Eight East Tennessee Counties:

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center at Roane State Community College is accepting applications from eligible individuals for training and other assistance under a program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is the “Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities” (WORC) initiative, and includes Anderson, Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Loudon, Morgan, Roane and Scott Counties. Eligible participants are: (1) adults who have not worked in five years or more; (2) dislocated workers laid off from their job; (3) incumbent workers who want to increase their wages and/or become more marketable in their job search; and (4) small business owners who want to improve their employee’s skills for the benefit of themselves and for their business. For more information, click here.

From Cleveland:

The Smart Factory Institute of Tennessee hosted its eighth annual “Peak Performance Symposium” last week, drawing in leading manufacturing companies from across the nation to discuss how manufacturers are maintaining a competitive advantage in the areas of trade, technology, and talent. The all-day event offered a first look into the Smart Factory Institute’s new manufacturing collaborative community space within the Partnerships in Industry and Education (“PIE”) Innovation Center in Cleveland. Throughout the day, attendees heard from more than 15 senior government, academic, and industry leaders, and participated in six interactive panels and sessions. Closing out the event, attendees were given an exclusive tour of the state-of-the-art WACKER multi-divisional plant in nearby Charleston which includes both polysilicon and silicones (HDK) manufacturing.

For Northeast Tennessee:

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced last week its largest single POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) awards package to date since the initiative launched in 2015. Nearly $47 million in funding went to 52 projects in 181 counties including the Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council in Johnson City. The ARC grant of $991,546 will support the Appalachian Producers Cooperative (APC), the first farmer-owned cooperative established in Tennessee in over 50 years. The purpose of the cooperative is to address the critical community need of meat processing capacity
to serve local farmers in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

From Nashville: 

  • The Tennessee District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration has opened applications for the third cohort of its Business Development Academy. The program is designed to ensure that small business owners would “Get Ready, Be Ready, and Stay Ready.” All small business owners accepted will receive hands-on assistance and training relative to laying a foundation for a successful pathway for business growth. The first tract of the cohort begins January 10 and all sessions will take place virtually one day a week from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. To apply, click here.
  • The Global Action Platform has announced a new collaborative initiative funded by Sentara Healthcare to advance health equity in the Hampton Roads, VA area and beyond. Through this Healthier757 collective impact initiative, a group of major community-based organizations will work together in a formal process to create a shared agenda, shared metrics, and collaborative activities to improve the health of the region’s most vulnerable and underserved communities. The project is in its early stages, identifying the services that most directly impact underserved communities, laying a foundation for mutual trust, and exploring how collaborations can be best structured and facilitated. More information on plans and actions will become available as the initiative moves forward.

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