Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley, the regional economic development partnership managed by the Knoxville Chamber, achieved remarkable success during the 2016-17 fiscal year with 1,568 new jobs created and $241.68 million in capital investments secured.
In addition to the impressive business recruitment and expansions, the 16-17 fiscal year was marked by a continued emphasis on carbon fiber, composites and workforce development.
Carbon Fiber & Composites
Enthusiasm for the region’s carbon fiber and composites capabilities rose in 2016-17 with companies like LeMond Composites, Magnum Venus Products and HTS, Inc. choosing to locate or expand their local operations. The research and development opportunities offered by Innovation Valley’s premier technology centers and world-class research institutions continue to attract companies from this important industry cluster.
Employers across the nation are experiencing skilled and experienced labor force shortages.
This year, the Innovation Valley team began an aggressive strategy to close that gap in our region and cultivate a strong pipeline of emerging professionals.
Talent Pipeline Management – The Knoxville Chamber launched Talent Pipeline Manage-ment (TPM), an employer-led, demand-driven process that identifies the competencies necessary for jobs, now and in the future. The program uses information gained through employer collaboratives to guide area educational institutions in the development of a high-functioning talent supply chain.
Educators in the Workplace – Educators in the Workplace, which links business leaders with educators, continues to thrive in its ninth year. In Oct. 2016, the Roane Alliance facilitated company visits for every high school teacher in Roane County. In June of 2017, the Knoxville Chamber led efforts for 84 teachers from 43 Knox County Schools to tour area businesses. The Blount Partnership was awarded almost $1 million as part of the Tennessee Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) grant. The grant enables Tennessee students to participate in technical training programs developed by area employers and encourages alignment between local workforce and education partners.
Career & Technical Education Externships – The Knoxville Chamber placed 20 Knox County Schools CTE teachers into two-day summer job shadow experiences with their core curriculum industries.
Download the entire Innovation Valley 16-17 Annual Report.