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February 23, 2012 | Tom Ballard

Southern Growth “Chairman’s Conference” coming to Chattanooga in June

Tennessee will host the Southern Growth Policies Board’s (SGPB) “Chairman’s Conference” for the first time in years when the two-day event begins June 25 in Chattanooga.

This year’s event, hosted by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, marks 40 years since SGPB was launched by the region’s governors.

“This spring, by way of celebration, we are reflecting on the South’s progress and looking into the future to anticipate what the South needs to compete successfully in the new global economy,” said SGPB Executive Director Ted Abernathy. “Simply, in these turbulent times, we want everyone to take some time to think.”

SGPB says the 2012 event will examine job and workforce trends, with a view towards reimagining tomorrow’s educated worker. This will include exploring tough questions, such as:

  • How can we determine the skills needed for future jobs when we’re not sure what those jobs will be?
  • How can we raise awareness of potential career paths and opportunities?
  • What are the implications for P-16?
  • What is the business perspective and what role will the business sector play in this preparation?
  • How do we connect the dots between different players—from K-12 to community colleges to universities to industry?

In addition to exploring these and other important questions, SGPB said the conference will also highlight new models and ideas in the areas of education and workforce skill development.

The agenda is being developed, but registration is now open at

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