Welcome to our newsletter:
Pilots Launch Across the State
Thank you Governor Bill Lee for the shoutout on Twitter of our statewide editorial published in the Tennessean by superintendents from three of our pilot communities. We are excited to continue working with districts and chambers across the state to provide more opportunities for students! 
Bill Spurlock, director of Rutherford County Schools, Dr. Bryan Johnson, Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, and Dr. Russell Dyer, Superintendent of Cleveland City Schools, penned a joint editorial highlighting the statewide impact of TN-CAPS.

TN-CAPS "is just part of the puzzle to help Tennessee lead the nation in workforce development and prepare students for the jobs of the future." Click to read the full editorial.
Recently, Jackson Madison County School System educators & Jackson Chamber staff received a guided tour of the new interactive web portal that provides free, localized, career-focused lesson plans for Jackson students! 

During the session, "educators learned the ins and outs of the system and gave feedback during the tour of the lesson plans and website." 
"Connecting students to what’s available in their communities gives them the opportunity to stay local after graduating."

Thank you to WBBJ-TV and Jackson Sun for joining us.

Click to read the full Jackson Sun article and watch the WBBJ-TV segment .
Happy New Year!

In our last issue of Connecting Kids to Local Careers, you heard about year-end preparations being made for the January 2020 launch of the TN-CAPS portal in 6 pilot areas.

Practitioners throughout the state reviewed lessons and provided feedback on activities and standards alignment. Curriculum developers put finishing touches on the website as well as the lesson plans featuring top careers in each of the pilot regions. Additional business partners came on board through completion of the Business Survey.
Dan Caldwell, Senior Manager of Learning Pathways at Nissan Group of North America , expressed that “the Tennessee Career Awareness and Preparation System is just what Tennessee needs to take us to the next level on workforce development and to improve the talent pipeline. Nissan is delighted to be included in lesson plans and in-person activities to prepare the rising generation for meaningful careers in advanced manufacturing.”
During a professional development training session for educators in the Jackson-Madison County School System with support from the Jackson Chamber TN-CAPS officially launched on January 6th. Additional professional development trainings are scheduled in January for the other school districts in the pilot communities: Cleveland City Schools, Hamilton County Schools, Rutherford County Schools, Kingsport City Schools, and Collierville Schools.
Professional development training sessions for local educators are critical to piloting the portal. These sessions provide concierge-level service directly to end-users. Selected educators will be testing the website and lesson plans, and connecting with local businesses to increase career awareness in their classrooms. Our team is excited to see the impact these sessions have and are grateful for the overwhelming support from school districts and local chambers.
As TN-CAPS continues to expand, more lesson plans and careers added. Businesses can still get involved by completing the Business Survey to indicate their workforce needs and willingness to engage with local schools, which will allow students to “see what they can be” through TN-CAPS.
“When we heard about the launch of a new career readiness program coming to high schools in east Tennessee, we knew we wanted to participate to help mold the future workforce . TN-CAPS will be essential to help us reach the future electricians and production managers that will come to work at Whirlpool,” stated Brandi King, Senior Communications Specialist, Whirlpool Corporation.
For businesses especially, it is not too late to get involved in the TN-CAPS pilot! If you represent a company looking to meaningfully connect with local students to provide career-in-classroom experiences, please complete the Business Survey today.
Sneak Peek: Easy as 1-2-3
While, TN-CAPS has more localized information for 6 pilot communities, the engagement portion of the portal is public and currently available to any schools in Tennessee at www.TN-CAPS.com.

Educators can easily get started by watching a 3-minute Easy as 1-2-3 video to learn more about TN-CAPS and to get a quick tutorial on how to access lesson plans inside the portal. The portal is intentionally designed to streamline the teacher’s experience making it simple to explore careers and businesses available in their region.  
First, a teacher will select their school district. Second, they will indicate which specific school they represent. Lastly, they will pick the relevant grade level. Once inside the portal, the teacher’s Lesson Center dashboard provides a one-stop-shop to revisit their recent lessons and to search lessons by employer, business sector, career, or grade level. 
“We at the Chamber, have continued to hear that businesses and local chambers have concerns in meeting their workforce needs,” said Bradley Jackson, President of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “By providing this first-of-its kind, localized career awareness system , we believe that this could revolutionize workforce development for our state’s growing number of businesses and help TN to continue to lead the country in innovative solutions.” 
Help spread the word about this great opportunity coming to classrooms across Tennessee! Forward this email to your colleagues and ask them to sign up to stay informed and receive updates on TN-CAPS!

Have relevant workforce development news in your area? We want to know!
News From Our Pilot Communities:
Growing Tennessee's workforce begins with exposing our students to opportunities
In rural parts of the Volunteer state, many children aren’t exposed to the types of high-skilled jobs that already exist or may be coming to their regions. That is why businesses and school districts must work together proactively to help Tennessee students develop skill sets that are required for the jobs of the future. Read More
Local Company develops Career Awareness and Preparation System aligned with Chattanooga Climbs
Just as the Chattanooga Chamber and Chattanooga 2.0 have announced ambitious goals under the ‘Chattanooga Climbs’ initiative, Chattanooga-based Thinking Media is developing a new system that will be piloted in 6 select regions of Tennessee, including Hamilton County, beginning January 2020. Read More
A classroom in a factory? Tennessee schools, businesses team up to expose students to potential careers
In Jackson, the Local Options and Opportunities Program, or L.O.O.P., goes beyond traditional internships or job shadow experiences to provide real-world experience in a better-than-minimum-wage job. Read More
Governor Bill Lee tours educational facilities at Cleveland High School
Governor Lee visited Cleveland High School and said it is "an example of innovative education" as he continues to push for technical and vocational programs within public school systems. Read More
Central, Discovery students vie for national STEM award
Two Rutherford County schools are in the running for spots to be in a national STEM competition that offers up to $3 million in technological prizes. Read More
Kingsport school board honors student achievements
During the December Kingsport school board meeting, the board honored student achievements, including the elementary student who wont the school system's Christmas card art contest and the senior who had a perfect ACT score.  Read More