Knox County educators recently completed the Knoxville Chamber’s ninth annual Educators in the Workplace summer program. Held throughout the month of June, seven regional companies opened their doors for educators to connect with local business leaders.

Companies host educators for a day-long program that includes a tour of their facilities, discussion about day-to-day business operations, and insight into the workplace culture, all while allowing teachers to earn in-service credit.

The intent of the program is to help educators find ways they can link what’s taught in school to real-world applications, helping them to better prepare students for life beyond the classroom.

“Educators in the Workplace is a well-planned opportunity by the Knoxville Chamber,” said Mike Blankenship, educator at Career Magnet Academy. “It allows classroom teachers and administrators the chance to grab the pulse of the Knox County business community for enhancing their school dynamics. Cirrus Insight has a relaxed business culture, and I appreciated the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of educators representing all educational age groupings.”

This year’s participating companies included McGhee Tyson Airport, Flowers Bakery, Cirrus Insight, Knoxville Area Transit, Leisure Pools, Knoxville Utilities Board, and DIA Architects.

“What happens when you host 15 amazing local teachers around a ping pong table at a growing Knoxville software startup?” said Brandon Bruce, founder and chief operating officer at Cirrus Insight. “First, you have a lot of fun! Second, you talk about the skills and talents that are in demand in today’s workplace. Third, you hear about the incredible work that our schools, teachers, parents, and children are doing to lead our community into the future. We all had a great day and we look forward to hosting the Educators in the Workplace program again at Cirrus Insight.”

Educators in the Workplace is an initiative of Innovation Valley, the regional economic development partnership managed by the Knoxville Chamber.