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Weekend edition February 16, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

Weekend roundup: Donations, hiring, and new rankings

The Weekend News Roundup features stories related to local business, technology, entrepreneurship, economy, events, and innovation.

SouthEast Bank donates to Centro Hispano

On Valentine’s Day, SouthEast Bank donated nearly $60,000 to Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, a local cultural nonprofit dedicated to providing financial literacy education, workforce development, youth and family engagement, and small business support to Latinos.

Claudia Caballero

“Centro Hispano is deeply grateful to partners like SouthEast Bank for their investment in our financial literacy programming,” said Claudia Caballero, president and CEO of Centro Hispano de East Tennessee. “Together, we’re building community and helping hundreds of families better manage their resources and become more financially independent.”

In addition to supporting literacy and education initiatives, SouthEast Bank’s donation also funded two key networking events aimed at career development. The first was a college resource fair for high school juniors and seniors where students could explore programs from higher learning institutions. This event was especially crucial for prospective first-generation Latino college students, offering them resources and opportunities to make informed decisions about their education and careers.

The second event, a “Centro Happy Hour” at Knoxville’s Xul Beer Company, brought together SouthEast Bank representatives and Latino professionals from various industries to foster meaningful professional connections.

“SouthEast Bank’s rich partnership with Centro Hispano is based on a shared commitment to expanding higher education, financial literacy, and professional development initiatives where we live, work, and play,” SouthEast Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act Officer Kirby Burton said. “We value Centro Hispano’s efforts to support the Spanish-speaking community and hope we can be a part of a shared bright future in East Tennessee.”

For more information, visit

Vote for Knoxville!

It is the last weekend to vote for Knoxville. Last year, USA Today named Knoxville Arts District the #4 Best Arts District in its 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards. Knoxville has been nominated again this year by a panel of industry experts and editors at the publication.

Annually, this list highlights the best destinations for business, travel recommendations, and exploration of the arts. The last day to vote in Monday, February 19. You can place one vote daily.

Don’t forget to vote for Knoxville on the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards!

Knoxville makes the list of top Metros for STEM professionals

WalletHub, a website dedicated to personal finance, recently conducted a study that assessed the top 100 most populous metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to evaluate the job market prospects for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professionals. The evaluation involved comparing MSAs across 21 key metrics categorized into “Professional Opportunities,” “STEM-Friendliness,” and “Quality of Life.”

The Knoxville MSA secured the #41 position overall in the rankings. Specifically, Knoxville ranked #27 for professional opportunities, #44 for quality of life, and #53 for “STEM-friendliness.” Among Knoxville’s peer MSAs, Raleigh claimed the #14 spot, Greenville (SC) stood at #35, Nashville at #53, Chattanooga at #84, and Memphis at #95.

You can read the full report here.

Knoxville Chamber releases new hiring platform

The Knoxville Chamber launched a website focused on Knoxville-area resources. It aims to assist employers in retaining and expanding their workforce, while also providing career guidance to individuals, including students. HireUp Knox is now live – and it serves as a comprehensive hiring resource for local businesses.

Lauren Longmire, the regional enhancement director for the Knoxville Chamber, emphasized the site’s accessibility, stating, “This new site makes it easier for a variety of audiences – job seekers, educators, employers, and more – to find what they are looking for.”

For job seekers, the platform offers access to training opportunities, recent job listings, service providers, and online learning options. Employers can benefit from educational webinars, internship consulting services, and out-of-market recruitment tools. Additionally, parents and students can explore occupation data and discover skilled trade options, while educators can access career-themed curricula and request speakers.

Responding to increased demand for a centralized hub for local internships, the Chamber acquired, directing internship-seekers to the new site for listings. Employers can submit internship listings at no cost. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the conversion rate for 2021-2022 interns was 57.6%.

Check out the new site today.

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