INSIDE: Schmoozapalooza Recap pg. 52 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 54
MEMBERSHIP MATTERS TOP ACHIEVERS JILL GREEN
2ND PLACE TIE
BGT RECRUITING & CONSULTING, INC.
3RD PLACE TIE
Top Achievers are recognized for their countless volunteer hours and dedication to the Ambassador Program’s mission of serving as an active volunteer extension of the Knoxville Chamber to cultivate, promote, and maintain positive relationships between the Knoxville Chamber, its members, and the community.
BONITZ FLOORING GROUP, INC.
ALL CRANE RENTAL OF TENNESSEE, LLC
ARCHER DESIGN & MARKETING
NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS SILVER PREMIER PARTNERS Margaritaville Island Hotel (865) 774-2300 www.margaritavilleislandhotel.com Attractions & Tourism Margaritaville Island Hotel Hotels & Lodging Wedding Services
BRONZE PREMIER PARTNERS
Cornerstone of Recovery (865) 970-7747 www.cornerstoneofrecovery.com Healthcare Providers & Services: Psychiatrists Healthcare Providers & Services: Psychologists Healthcare Providers & Services: Rehabilitation Social Services:Alcohol & Drug Treatment Fifth Third Bank (865) 985-7853 www.53.com Financial Services: Banks Fort Loudon Electric Cooperative (877) 353-2674 www.flec.org Utilities & Natural Resources: Electrical Utilities Utilities & Natural Resources: Natural Gas
The IT Company (865) 392-9200 www.theitco.net Computer & IT Services: Consultants Computer & IT Services Office Equipment, Supplies, & Services Affirm Consulting, LLC (407) 287-4219 www.affirm.consulting Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants AKM Properties, LLC (831) 241-1189 Real Estate: Property Management Artistic Spectrum, Inc. (865) 816-9716 www.artisticspectrum.org Associations & Organizations BCTI (423) 283-0543 www.bcti.com Computer & IT Services Blue Dress, Inc. (865) 951-5887 www.bluedressinc.com Business & Professional Services: Marketing Bye Bye Ink (865) 474-7900 www.byebyeink.com Personal Services: Aestheticians & Medispas
THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER’S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
EDITOR | WRITER JENNY WOODBERY DESIGN LADDY FIELDS
College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving (865) 344-3802 www.collegehunkshaulingjunk.com Residential Services: Moving/Relocation
Jakes Creek Distillery (865) 640-9150 www.jakescreek.com Attractions & Tourism
Cornerstone Integrative Health Associates (865) 983-7800 www.cornerstoneintegrativehealthc.om Healthcare Providers & Services: Hospitals & Clinics
Latitude’s Bar (865) 774-2300 www.margaritavilleislandhotel.com Restaurants: Bars
Dalton Dupes Agency (865) 896-9665 www.daltondupes.com Business & Professional Services:Human Resources
Optimyze (865) 671-2148 www.optimyzeme.com Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being
Hertz Equipment Rental (865) 546-3700 www.hertzequip.com Construction & Contractors: Equipment/Supplies Building & Grounds Maintenance: Equipment Building Materials: Hardware
Results HR (865) 679-1980 www.results-hr.com Business & Professional Services: Human Resources
The Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center (865) 803-5737 Healthcare Providers & Services: Allergists Tennessee Solar Solutions (423) 535-9350 www.tennesseesolarsolutions.com Environmental Services & Equipment: Consultants Treasures Jewelers - Knoxville (865) 983-0987 www.treasuresdiamondjewelers.com Shopping: Jewelry
Sable Equestrian Theatre (866) 272-6888 www.smokyhorse.com/ Attractions & Tourism Entertainment
United Capital Lending at Gettysvue (865) 936-9100 www.marissaandmargo.com Real Estate: Mortgage Banking
Innovate Manufacturing (865) 560-0100 www.innovatemfg.com Manufacturing: Plastics
Sapphire: A Modern Bar and Restaurant (865) 637-8181 www.sapphireknoxville.com Restaurants: Bars
University Radiology (865) 584-7376 www.utrad.com Healthcare Providers & Services
Instartly, LLC (844) 278-2781 www.instartly.com Computer & IT Services: Web Design & Hosting
Southeast Bumpers (865) 577-6786 www.southeastbumpers.com Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service: Body Repairing & Painting
Which Way Out Knoxville (865) 540-3800 www.whichwayoutknoxville.com Entertainment
FINANCE & OPERATIONS firstname.lastname@example.org
THE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (865) 546-5887
PRESIDENT & CEO MICHAEL EDWARDS
CENTRAL BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (865) 246-2654 email@example.com
TENNESSEE SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (865) 246-2663
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT firstname.lastname@example.org
Stokes Electric Company (865) 525-0351 stokeslightingcenter.com/ Electrical Supplies & Services
Holrob Commercial Realty & Investments (865) 637-3770 www.holrob.com Real Estate: Commercial
CONTACT THE KNOXVILLE CHAMBER (865) 637-4550 www.knoxvillechamber.com
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RHONDA RICE
St. Somewhere Spa (865) 280-6200 www.margaritavilleislandhotel.com Personal Services: Salons & Spas
LEADERSHIP KNOXVILLE (865) 523-9137 U.S. DEPT. OF COMMERCE EXPORT ASSISTANCE CENTER (865) 545-4637
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 48
LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN It has been an outstanding year for Innovation Valley. The completion of the second year of Blueprint 2.0 brought record breaking capital investments, new jobs, solid new business recruits, and existing industry expansions. I am pleased to report that through efforts by Innovation Valley, a staggering $642.5 million in capital investments were announced, and 3,250 new jobs were created from July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015. Some of the year’s most memorable moments include SL Tennessee’s expansion, which will create 1,000 jobs and bring an $80.5 million capital investment into the region. CVMR USA announced in March it would be relocating its global headquarters from Canada to Roane County, resulting in 620 new jobs and a $313 million capital investment. The year ended on a high note with the celebration of Cirrus Aircraft’s announcement it was opening a new customer experience center at McGhee Tyson Airport. This regional recruitment effort brings 170 high-wage and skilled jobs to the region, along with a $15 million investment. The trend is continuing as Innovation Valley’s team aggressively pursues a strong pipeline of projects earmarked for future announcements. We are excited about the year to come, and as chairman of the Innovation Valley board of directors, I encourage you to stay engaged in our regional economic development efforts. With your support we can continue to make Innovation Valley the best place for business in America. Sincerely,
Thom Mason Chairman, Innovation Valley board of directors
INDICATORS OF SUCCESS
The completion of the second year of Blueprint 2.0 brought record breaking capital investments, new jobs, solid new business recruits, and existing industry expansions.
3,250 NEW JOBS GOAL: 2,300
$642.5M IN CAPITAL INVESTMENTS GOAL: $300M
2.8% WAGE INCREASE GOAL: 2.0%
($43,498 to $44,718)
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FISCAL YEAR HIGHLIGHTS JULY 1, 2014 - JUNE 30, 2015
KOIDE TENNESSEE, INC. (8/1)
100 JOBS $135M CAP INVESTMENT
190 JOBS $35M CAP INVESTMENT
32 JOBS $10.1M CAP INVESTMENT
SL TENNESSEE (7/25)
1,000 JOBS $80.5M CAP INVESTMENT
YAMAHA JET BOAT (12/15) SL TENNESSEE
BEGINNING OF SECOND YEAR OF BLUEPRINT 2.0
“A key factor in SL Corporation’s decision to expand was its quality and availability of labor at our Clinton facility. Finally, SL Corporation has chosen Clinton for this latest expansion because the business climate in Tennessee and Innovation Valley has enabled us to be successful. We hope to build on that success and continue to grow in the future.”
Y.K. Woo President, SL America
K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 50 50
150 JOBS $17.7M CAP INVESTMENT
100 JOBS $1M CAP INVESTMENT
PROPEL MENTOR/ PROTÉGÉ PROGRAM RECEIVES MICROENTERPRISE GRANT The Propel mentor/protégé program received a $50,000 “LiftTN: Microenterprise” grant, launched by the Tennessee Economic and Community Development department, to expand its program to rural counties in Innovation Valley.
202 JOBS $10.4M CAP INVESTMENT
PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCES NEW MANUFACTURING INNOVATION HUB
TN ECD Commissioner Randy Boyd
NEW RECRUIT Gov. Bill Haslam
CVMR USA (3/13)
620 JOBS $313M CAP INVESTMENT
CARLEX GLASS, CO. (4/10) EXPANSION
170 JOBS $15M CAP INVESTMENT JUNE
INNOVATION VALLEY COMPLETES SEVENTH ANNUAL EDUCATORS IN THE WORKPLACE PROGRAM (June 2015)
An Innovation Valley-based consortium led by the University of Tennessee is partnering with the Department of Energy to create a $250 million institute focused on U.S. leadership in nextgeneration composite materials, called the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI.
CIRRUS AIRCRAFT (5/6)
Bill King Vice President of Business Administration, Cirrus Aircraft
HICKS PLASTICS COMPANY, INC. (3/31)
TOTAL QUALITY LOGISTICS (3/27)
“The single most important thing that we have to get right every day is how we deal with our customers. Our customers have come to expect a lot from us, and we intend to not only deliver but exceed on the area where we’ve always delivered well. And we certainly believe Knoxville will play a critical role in our growth.”
“A combination of superior local resources, an ability to leverage cutting-edge knowledge, and emerging demand for high-performance products makes East Tennessee the place for the CVMR headquarters, manufacturing, and production. This environment supports investment and further development of CVMR technologies.”
Michael C. Hargett President, CVMR (USA)
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More than 240 regional educators took the opportunity to visit 14 businesses around the region. The intent of the program is to help educators find ways to link what they teach in the classroom to real-world applications, so they can keep their students engaged and excited about what they are learning.
More than 700 people met under the Schmoozapalooza balloon banner, by Above the Rest Balloon & Event Designs, for a great night of networking on Sept. 10.
Kathy Kramer and Connie Francis of Lawhorn CPA Group chatted with numerous Schmoozapalooza guests, at their booth.
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Scott Pearson of Paramount Land Title and Robert Carter of Mortgage Investors Group take a break from networking at Schmoozapalooza to pose for a photo.
Logan Whitman, Rochelle Cordova, and Keith Kail of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society pose at their booth at Schmoozapalooza on Sept. 10.
Brianna Tate and Ashley Hackney pose at the tailgate-themed Schmoozapalooza with some of their wild friends from the Knoxville Zoo.
Chelsea Miller, Paradise Kirkland, Lee Yarnell, April Waller, and Teri Lee show off their gear at the Hard Knox Roller Girls booth.
Gene Collins, Angela Conner, Christine Gray, Will Strickland, and Kevin Cantillon of Comcast Business pose at the presenting sponsorsâ€™ booth at Schmoozapalooza.
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Joe Kugler and Mike McDowell pose at the eyecatching booth for Social Joey, a supporting sponsor of Schmoozapalooza XIII.
John Anders, Nathan Clapp, and Chad Gibson show off some Kred apparel at their first-ever Schmoozapalooza experience.
MONTHLY ECONOMIC INDICATORS
NOTES – Knoxville MSA includes: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane & Union Counties.
WORKFORCE Resident Labor Force Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.
HOUSING MARKET % Change Aug. ’14Aug. ‘15
% Change July ’15Aug. ‘15
228,700 406,380 3,050,900 157,390,000
234,030 415,840 3,110,400 158,527,000
227,910 396,626 3,010,900 156,434,000
-2.3 -2.3 -1.9 -0.7
0.3 2.5 1.3 0.6
12,130 23,630 194,280
13,820 27,010 217,610
15,810 30,600 246,860
-12.2 -12.5 -10.7
-23.3 -22.8 -21.3
4.8 5.3 5.8 5.2
5.4 5.9 6.4 5.6
6.3 6.7 7.4 6.3
-0.6 -0.6 -0.6 -0.4
-1.5 -1.4 -1.6 -1.1
Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee
Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price
Aug. 2015 1,575 10,489 $158,000
Unemployment Rates Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.
Sources: Tennessee Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
INFLATION RATES -
*Southeast Region Avg. U.S. Avg. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
% Change Aug. ’13Aug. ‘15 -1.8 -1.5
% Change Aug. ’14Aug. ‘15
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
July 2015* 24 24 0
July 2014 21 21 0
% Change July ’14July ‘15 14.3 14.3 0.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
106 106 0
116 116 0
-8.6 -8.6 0.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
206 182 24
150 150 0
37.3 21.3 100.0
Total Single-Family Multi-Family
2,184 1,538 646
1,668 1,512 156
30.9 1.7 314.1
Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee
% Change July ’15Aug. ‘15
52,539,050 80,885,550 681,741,813
52,484,736 81,033,482 700,901,068
48,326,011 74,985,014 629,734,407
0.1 -0.2 -2.7
8.7 7.9 8.3
AIR SERVICE (MCGHEE-TYSON AIRPORT)
June 2015 163,099 6,585,367
May 2015 147,493 6,551,753
June 2014 164,397 5,466,645
% Change May ’15June ‘15 10.6 0.5
% Change June ’14June ‘15 -0.8 20.5
Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority
Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA
*All 2015 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey
*South – City Size Class B/C
SALES TAX REVENUE - STATE & LOCAL ($) State Sales Tax
1,294 11,387 $155,000
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) - ALL ITEMS % Change July ’14Aug. ‘15
% Change Aug. ’14Aug. ‘15 21.7 -7.9 1.9
Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors
Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee
July 2015 1,702 10,754 $164,900
% Change July ’15Aug. ‘15 -7.5 -2.5 -4.2
Source: Tennessee Dept. of Revenue
RETAIL SALES - NATIONAL (IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS) Category Total Retail Sales Building Materials Clothing Stores Electronics & Appliances Food & Beverage Stores Food Svcs & Drinking Places Furniture & Home Furnishings Gasoline Stations General Merchandise Stores Health & Personal Care Stores Miscellaneous Stores Motor Vehicle & Parts Sales Non-store Retailers Sporting Goods/Books/ Hobby/Music
457,352 27,063 22,329 8,278 57,686 53,151 8,794 40,039 57,457 26,175 10,680 99,275 38,043
456,635 30,140 20,480 8,025 58,683 52,992 8,838 41,664 54,961 26,097 10,585 98,789 38,338
450,365 26,852 21,855 8,519 56,553 50,098 8,591 48,302 57,071 25,107 10,186 93,793 35,388
% Change July ’15Aug. ‘15 0.2 -10.2 9.0 3.2 -1.7 0.3 -0.5 -3.9 4.5 0.3 0.9 0.5 -0.8
% Change Aug. ’14Aug. ‘15 1.6 0.8 2.2 -2.8 2.0 6.1 2.4 -17.1 0.7 4.3 4.8 5.8 7.5 4.1
EST. 1869 For more information on research, contact Joe Riley, email@example.com
Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report
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Project BrandAid Gives Small Businesses a Chance at a Marketing Makeover Asen Marketing & Advertising wants to help a small business improve its branding abilities with an advertising service giveaway. Deemed Project BrandAid, the giveaway will provide one lucky business with more than $40,000 worth of advertising materials. Asen developed the program to help give back to the community and provide a local business with the opportunity to develop a strong brand foundation. “Our mission is to give a Knoxville business a success story and unite our advertising community,” Brookney Morrell, art director for Asen. “We believe in what we do as an industry and want to help one business shine through the aid of our advertising services. It’s about giving back and helping one another grow.” Asen is currently accepting nominations for a deserving company until Oct. 15. Nominated businesses must reside within Knox County, have a yearly revenue of $2 million or less, and must have been in business for at least two years. A panel of sponsors will narrow down the entries to three candidates based on submitted stories. Then the community will be asked to vote on a final business to be the recipient of the $40,000 giveaway. The recipient will be announced on Nov. 19. Based on the needs of the selected business, these materials will be used to develop strong branding essentials, including website, video, brochures, photography, social media, online search optimization, ads for print and digital, plus added exposure through
public relations. The giveaway is sponsored by First View Online, SRW & Associates, the Knoxville Chamber, the Knoxville Mercury, Print Edge, WVLT, and Star 102.1. “When Asen Marketing put the idea of Project BrandAid out there to our advertising and marketing peers, they jumped right in,” Morrell said. “Together, we’re presenting an industry-wide giveaway that we hope will add to the success of one deserving business.” Visit www.projectbrandaid.com to learn more and nominate a deserving business. SPONSORED BY:
OCTOBER - MEMBER ANNIVERSARIES
Since 1869, the Knoxville Chamber has been the leading voice for business in our region. Each of these businesses are celebrating milestone anniversaries as Chamber members during the month of October. Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and the community! 31+ YEARS
Corporate Quarters, Inc.
Conway Marketing Communications
Knox Housing Partnership HomeOwnership Center 2000
OrthoTennessee 1954 O’Neal Steel Incorporated
Foundry on the Fair Site
10 – 14 YEARS
The Coal Creek Company
The Southern Market
Project GRAD Knoxville, Inc.
Vreeland Engineers, Inc.
The Reserve at Westland
Arnett, Draper and Hagood
Sword & Shield Enterprise Security, Inc.
SalesManage Solutions, LLC
Duo-Fast of Knoxville, Inc.
The Benefield-Richters Company
Knoxville Convention Exhibition Center
BEST WESTERN PLUS Cedar Bluff Inn
Y-12 Federal Credit Union
Energy Control Consultants, Inc.
Ridgeview Terrace of Life Care
Community Television of Knoxville
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)
J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons, LLC
George Armour Ewart, Architect
Knox County Education Association
Worden, Rechenbach & Brooke
The Eye Group
Tennessee Valley Authority
Bell & Associates Construction L.P.
Miller Feinbaum Recruiting, LLC
Capital Resource Partners, Inc.
John S. James Co.
Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc
Heely Brown Company
25 – 30 YEARS
20 – 24 YEARS Courthouse Retrieval Systems, Inc.
MEMBER SINCE 1991
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Innovation Valley Investors Hear About the State of the Southern Economy On Sept. 3, Innovation Valley investors, regional elected officials, and community leaders gathered for an exclusive event with Southern Business and Development Publisher Michael Randle. The event highlighted the results of Innovation Valley’s 2014-15 fiscal year, and featured a discussion on the state of the Southern economy. Randle said that after the recession he noticed a sharp increase in manufacturing related projects across the South as companies invested in re-shoring with a new, “build it where you sell it,” mantra. Randle, who only tallies deals worth more than 200 jobs and/or $30 million in investments, reported that 375 projects were announced throughout the South in 2014, as compared to 165 in 2001. “The American South has experienced four great manufacturing waves in the last 70 years,” Randle said. “Those were all manufacturing sectors during and shortly
after World War II, the textiles and apparel wave in the 1960s and ‘70s, and a more sustainable wave from the mid-1980s to today and that, of course, is the automotive sector. Lastly, there is this re-shoring wave. This, in my mind, is a game changer. It is an all-in situation, I believe, for states and communities in the South because like WWII, it involves all sectors.” Randle attributes the change in part due to rising labor costs in Asia, and the fact that when all costs are taken into account, certain states in the South, will turn out to be the least expensive production sites in the industrialized world. Innovation Valley has seen a sharp rise in manufacturing activity in recent years, with more than 11,930 jobs created and almost $2.5 billion in capital investments announced since 2010. Kayla Witt, marketing coordinator for the Knoxville Chamber, contributed this story.
Brookings Institution Discusses Making Innovation ‘Sticky’ Last month, the Brookings Institute led a workshop at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on how Innovation Valley is making innovation “sticky” through local commercialization. During the daylong discussion, the Brookings team focused on how regions can better leverage assets to expand and commercialize their advanced industries locally, using East Tennessee as an example of best practices that should be followed by the rest of the U.S. “It is a great compliment to Innovation Valley that a reputable think tank like Brookings would choose our region as a case study for innovative collaboration in advanced industries,” said Rhonda Rice, executive administrator for Innovation Valley. Brookings found that East Tennessee is making innovation “sticky” through collaboration and a concerted push by local, state, and federal leaders through efforts like Gov. Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development RevV! program, and the $180 million Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.
Brookings acknowledged that while advanced industries have led the current economic recovery with a growth rate that doubles the national average, it is likely underachieving on the delivery of onshore investment and scale up. Two criteria were used to identify advanced industries: that an industry’s research and development spending per worker fall in the 80th percentile or higher, exceeding $450 per worker, and that the share of workers in an industry whose occupations require a high degree of STEM knowledge must be above the national average. Brookings acknowledged that advanced industries are a critical anchor of national prosperity; noting that the nation’s private- and public-sectors should together commit to innovation, have a sharp focus on workforce development efforts; and that firms, governments, and other relevant entities work together. Kayla Witt, marketing coordinator for the Knoxville Chamber, contributed this story.
Jewelry Television Expanding Operations in Knox County Last month, officials from Jewelry Television (JTV) announced plans for the company expand operations at its national headquarters on Parkside Drive in Knox County. Over the course of the next year, JTV plans to invest $43 million and add 30 full-time jobs in Innovation Valley. JTV sells fine jewelry and loose gemstones to customers nationwide and is broadcast to more than 85 million households. The company boasts the world’s fourth largest jewelry website and estimates it will ship 5.6 million orders in the coming fiscal year. “We would like to congratulate Jewelry Television on its recent expansion in Innovation Valley,” said Rhonda Rice, Innovation Valley’s executive administrator. “Creative media services with an emphasis on television production is one of Innovation Valley’s target recruitment clusters, and anytime we have an existing industry expand, it’s a huge win for our region.”
The expansion will accommodate the company’s new executive offices, technology spaces, and an upgraded and expanded call center. The total expansion is expected to add 81,000 square feet to the current facility. JTV will also make significant investments to its IT infrastructure, employee base, and systems. “JTV is excited about these new investments in our business and the Knoxville community,” Tim Matthews, JTV’s president and CEO. “Not only will this project greatly enhance our service to our customers across the nation, but also they will strengthen our company’s leadership position in the gemstones and jewelry industry. These investment commitments in Knoxville mean greater long-term strength, security and enhanced opportunities for our employees, and advance our commitment to making JTV a great place to work..” Kayla Witt, marketing coordinator for the Knoxville Chamber, contributed this story.
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Hiring Our Heroes Event to Help Veterans, Military Spouses Seeking Employment The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a free hiring fair for veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses in Knoxville on Oct. 7 as part of its Hiring Our Heroes program. Sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation and the University of Phoenix, this event will consist of an employment workshop and hiring fair. It will provide veteran job seekers, active duty military members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses the chance to find meaningful employment opportunities and provide them with resources for the future. The employment workshop focused on resume writing, military skill translation, hiring fair navigation, and job interviewing will begin at 8:30 a.m. Led by human resources and workforce professionals, the workshop will take into account the job seeker’s military background while providing them tips for resume building, networking, and interviewing. Volunteer career coaches will also perform a mock interview and assist them in developing an effective elevator pitch. “These events give one-on-one opportunities for these people to talk to employers about the positions available and talk about their military history and how their skills can be used for these jobs,” said Ernie Lombardi, southeast senior regional associate for Hiring Our Heroes. “Last year in Knoxville we ended up with 40 employers there to talk to the 120 job seekers that came through the door.” The job seekers can take the skills they learn in the morning workshop directly to the job fair floor in personal interviews with the various employers. A similar event conducted by Hiring Our Heroes in Knoxville last year had 44 confirmed hires by the end of the fair. “A good number of these people will walk out the door with a job,” Lombardi said. “Others will walk out with the resources to help them in the future. It’s an educational opportunity for them because many don’t know about all the resources out there.” Since the program’s creation in 2011, more than 27,000 veterans and military spouses have obtained jobs through Hiring Our Heroes events. “We have a lot of people in our office with military backgrounds, so we get this,” said Lombardi. “Through our events people can see that the U.S. Chamber is not just about business, it’s about helping the military and veterans as well.” This hiring fair is being conducted by the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, the Tennessee Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, The American Legion, NBC News, and other local partners. The event will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center. The employment workshop will start at 8:30 a.m. and the job fair will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is free for both employers and job seekers. For more information or to register for the event, please visit www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/knoxville-hiring-fair. Chamber Intern Jessica Karsten contributed this story.
PREMIER PARTNER PROFILE:
IT Expertise For 20 years, IT Expertise has been focused on making technology work faster, smarter, more securely, and easier for its clients. Since starting the company, founder Brian Young watched as computers completely evolved and began to change the way the world operated. He began building PCs and eventually moved to servers in the early 90s as a subcontractor for other consultants and for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As the demand for technology services grew, Young added new staff and services. Today, IT Expertise is incorporated and supports approximately 40 area businesses. IT Expertise specializes in building safe, secure, and reliable email systems using primarily Microsoft Exchange as well as Exchange Online in the Office365 platform. In addition, IT Expertise successfully manages Active Directory, Barracuda SPAM servers, and various SQL engine databases. IT Expertise is flexible and acts on new information to keep varied network infrastructures running smoothly and securely. “IT Expertise is committed to taking our client’s view of technology to the next level,” Young said. “We care about their unique needs and work to find the best fit for the organization or individual. From strategically choosing the right direction to installation to training, IT Expertise will goes the extra mile to make technology work for our clients.” IT Expertise currently has a team of four. Three of which are varying levels of IT technicians. Young, the company’s senior consultant, focuses on high-level technology decisions for all of their business clients including network infrastructure decisions and future planning. The company also has tier I and tier II technicians that work on hardware/software/network issues at the individual workstation level. In addition, Gwen Rogers, the company’s CEO and business development consultant, focuses on the “user experience” to ensure that businesses and individuals alike are taking advantage of the technology tools through process improvement, personalization, customization, and skill development. All staff work as a team to ensure that each client gets the benefit of each skillset. “IT Expertise’s staff truly works to understand the unique needs of each individual and organization. All too often the human element is taken out of discussions about technology,” Young said. “When we assist someone with a problem, we truly focus on helping the person not the device. We try to break out of the role of technician and act as a problem solver, counselor, and guide.” Young said IT Expertise makes sure that their clients have the right set of technology tools and the right skills to utilize them. “We accomplish this through one-on-one personalized training, small group training, and classes for various software products,” Young said.
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Annual Football-Themed a.m. Exchange Draws Big Crowd More than 150 businesspeople joined the Knoxville Chamber for its football-themed a.m. Exchange at Image Matters on Sept. 24. This was the ninth year Image Matters has hosted networking event before the University of Tennessee vs. the University of Florida game. All Occasion Catering provided a tasty breakfast buffet for guests as they mingled in the company’s showroom of printers and copiers. Image Matters provided four door prizes for the morning event. Paul Arnhold of Toastmasters International won a UT wall canvas; Greg Blankenship of Gregory’s Greenhouse Productions, LLC, took home tickets to Wine on the Water; Chip Reed of Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, Inc., received tickets to Tailgate Tennessee; Donna Taylor was the winner of an HP laser jet printer.
OCTOBER 7 Hiring Our Heroes
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. • Knoxville Convention Center, 501 Henley Street Free hiring fair for veterans, transitioning military, and their spouses
OCTOBER 8 Business After Hours 5 – 7 p.m. • Lamar Advertising, 10311 Deerborn Lane, 37932
OCTOBER 13 Bright Ideas Seminar: Design Your Organization! Presented by Mark McComas, Gridwell 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Knoxville Chamber, 17 Market Square, #201 $25 for Chamber members/$35 for non-members
OCTOBER 20 Brock Evans of Bethel University and Corey Thomas of Smith and Hammaker pose for a photo at the Knoxville Chamber’s a.m. Exchange at Image Matters.
a.m. Exchange 8 – 9 a.m. • Jackson Terminal, 205 W. Jackson Ave.
OCTOBER 22 Women on the Rise to Shine, presented by SunTrust A Conversation with Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Entertainment 7:30 – 9 a.m. • Hilton Knoxville, 501 Church Street $30 for Chamber members/$35 for non-members
Guests enjoyed some morning networking time at the Knoxville Chamber’s a.m. Exchange at Image Matters on Sept. 24.
OCTOBER 29 Knoxville Chamber Annual Meeting 7:30 – 9 a.m. • The Square Room, 4 Market Square
Go to “Chamber Events” on www.knoxvillechamber.com to learn more or register for any of these events. You may also call the events line, (865) 246-2622
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Published on Oct 7, 2015