Boosting college grads could land us $1M

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce officials have tossed our region's collective hat into the ring for the $1 million Talent Dividend Prize that will be awarded in September 2014. To get the money, which would go toward a national marketing campaign, we'll need to show grow our base of college graduates faster than about 50 other cities. That group includes Tennessee's other big cities as well as Louisville and Charlotte.

May 4, 2011 12:09 PM

'Sourcing the next 50 will be a challenge'

Our friends at Nashville Medical News touched base recently with Stephen Hau, who relocated his Shareable Ink venture here from Boston last year. He's jazzed about the broad level of institutional support for area entrepreneurs and tells us he recently launched a partnership with Dallas-based T-System, which works to automate the information collected at 1,700 hospitals' emergency departments.

Hau also shares his thoughts on one of the most pressing topics of Middle Tennessee's tech scene, our talent pool. Echoing a point many others have made, he says quality is not the issue.

“We’ve built an impressive team in Nashville with top-notch, local talent. On the technology front, there are strong candidates in Nashville, but they are few and far between. While I’m not worried about finding the next five strong engineers, sourcing the next 50 will be a challenge. Tod Fetherling of the Nashville Technology Council is a wonderful resource, and Professor Kenneth Galloway, dean of Engineering at Vanderbilt, has been helpful too. Nashville needs more engineering talent, and I hope creating meaningful jobs at ‘cool’ software companies can help.”

Apr 11, 2011 10:03 AM

Nashville Tech Council hopes to encourage youth

The Nashville Technology Council hosted an event today hoping to encourage teens who are thinking about possibly pursuing careers in technology. FirstCamp 2011 is aiming to bring together high schoolers and people from the technology community to discuss student's ideas and guide the development of those ideas. The Council says the event will host nearly 300 students this year, triple its year-ago number.

“We must have an active and engaged pipeline of high school students and college graduates to meet the current and future workforce demands for technology workers,” said J. Tod Fetherling, President/CEO for the Nashville Technology Council.  “The Nashville technology industry has over 1,000 open positions with 56% higher than the average salaries.”
Mar 4, 2011 12:45 PM

Looking at the workforce in the long term

New York financial advisor Larry Elkin says today's political leaders need to turn the rhetorical tide on immigration before the United States' demographics change to the detriment of our labor force.
Our misguidedly restrictive immigration policies could put us in the same trap Germany fell into. Yet, instead of seeking to attract people who offer creative talent or exceptionally hard work, many U.S. lawmakers continue to work to lock out those perceived competitors to American workers, and to express the protectionist sentiments that Germany is trying to put behind it.
Feb 18, 2011 12:59 PM

Why it's so important that cities keep up

Because when they fall behind their peers and the overall economy — think Detroit — their citizens may never truly catch up.
Job training has been a prominent issue during a recession that’s led to massive declines in employment, particularly in sectors such as construction where hiring isn’t likely to rebound to pre-recession levels. For those who’ve been laid off, the effects can be long-lasting. Workers unemployed in the early 1980s suffered a 30% drop in income in the year after losing a job. A decade later their earnings were still 20% lower than their peers who managed to keep their jobs.
Oct 14, 2010 9:15 AM

The jobless generation

Chris Farrell at BusinessWeek takes a close look at one of the likely lasting legacies of the Great Recession: A large segment of youths essentially unequipped to hold their own in the workforce.
Even the growing ranks of the poor living in the suburbs tend to congregate in low-income neighborhoods where jobs are harder to come by. Yet car ownership rates are low among the poor, the authors say, and for those dependent on public transit the systems often offer sparse coverage. "You are really creating a society of people who don't know what work is like," says Robert Straits, director of the Employment Management Services Div. at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. "It's a generation of people who have never held a real job."
Aug 11, 2010 7:53 AM

Nashville could get a piece of this

On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced $250 million in new grants that will be made available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for increasing the physician workforce — specifically primary care docs. Of that money, $168 million will go to schools that train primary care physicians, $32 million will go to programs that train physician assistants and $30 million will go to schools or hospitals that train nurses. Of course, awards are subject to an application process. But it stands to reason that local medical schools — like Meharry, which earlier this week was named one of the country's top producers of primary care physicians — could see some funding to help combat the country's primary care shortage.
Jun 18, 2010 7:35 AM

The nursing shortage head fake

David Bartholomew at nurse staffing firm HCCA International tells our colleagues at the Medical News that government's current policy on H1-B visas will come back to bite the hospital sector.
[T]hus, the country has developed a false sense of security that the predicted nursing shortage hasn’t and won’t materialize. This has fueled the notion of H-1B opponents who believe there’s no need to increase immigration numbers. However, the reality is quite different, Bartholomew said, and down the road, nurses will be retiring in droves and leaving hospitals, clinics and practices scrambling to fill the void.
May 17, 2010 8:04 AM

Haslam's workforce upgrade plan

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam has more details on how he wants to improve the delivery of relevant job training via Tennessee's community colleges and technology centers.
“Essentially, we just need to have flexibility at the local level to meet the needs of each community’s businesses and workforce,” Haslam continued. “This can mean a lot of different things, but the point is to let local demand drive the operation the way we do in business.
Apr 22, 2010 3:44 PM

HCA and Microsoft pledge $1.25M to nonprofits

HCA and Microsoft Corp. today announced they are contributing $1.25 million in software and funding to Middle Tennessee nonprofits, with Microsoft giving $1 million in software and the Nashville hospital operator providing $250K in cash. The "Innovation through Technology" grants will go to agencies that focus on primary health, youth and children and workforce development. Finalists were named at today's announcement and recipients will be announced on March 19.
Jan 20, 2010 3:15 PM