Knoxville employers are needed this summer to provide opportunities for educators to observe first-hand the 21st century workplace and to take what they’ve learned back to their students.

The Knoxville Chamber is recruiting businesses for two such programs in June.

Educators in the Workplace matches educators with business people in the work-place setting for a two or more hour event. Members of various departments within the company provide information on company’s business and workplace culture, and specifics on ways to connect what the students learn in the classroom with what is required in the workplace.

Companies will offer a tour of the workplace and arrange for question and answer sessions with representatives from various departments. The opportunity to participate is for companies in all industry sectors.

A more intensive externship opportunity for teams consisting of teachers, school counselors and administrators is planned under a Pathways Tennessee grant for Anderson, Blount and Knox Counties. Businesses in advanced manufacturing and information systems – two industries in which finding talent is difficult – are being sought to provide a two-day experience for the school teams.

The aim of both projects is for teachers to take what they’ve learned back to the classroom and share the information with students, offering business insights and get-ting them excited about the potential of these workplaces and the careers they offer.

Businesses benefit by increasing teachers’ awareness of industry needs to aid them in preparing students for the workforce. In many cases, these externships have also served as the beginning of an ongoing connection between industry and education.

If you would like to participate in either or both experiences, please contact Alex Kleto, the Knoxville Chamber’s manager of existing industry, at or 865-246-2661.