Memphis, Tennessee (Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023) — The Greater Memphis Chamber today announced that it will receive a Workforce Invest Grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to accelerate workforce training and education across the region ahead of a historic influx of job opportunities.
“In Greater Memphis, we are looking to advance and scale workforce development to meet the demands of our industries,” said Ted Townsend, President & CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber. “We’ve set bold but attainable targets for our region’s growth through 2030 – goals that represent greater access to prosperity – and we fully expect to hit those targets thanks to the support of partners like the Tennessee Valley Authority.”
In response to increasing demand for a trained workforce, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and third-party consultant VisionFirst Advisors developed the innovative Workforce Invest initiative in 2022. The program’s goal is to address critical workforce development needs like those in Greater Memphis.
“TVA Economic Development is committed to our communities,” said John Bradley, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for TVA. “Workforce Invest allows us to invest in programs that address the specific workforce and education needs at a local level. Each project funded provides needed training to residents while also filling the needs of industry. We are proud to support our local economic development partners.”
The Chamber, in partnership with the Goodwill Excel Center, will use the grant to equip a minimum of 60 adults with the skills they need to land high-demand jobs in the region’s fast-growing industries. The grant will also provide them with a stipend to attend weekend bootcamps where they can earn an industry credential in the manufacturing sector.
“We’re excited about this partnership because it represents the type of economic mobility and workforce ecosystem we’re trying to create in Greater Memphis,” said Amity Schuyler, Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President of Workforce Development for the Chamber. “This grant will help us create a pathway that moves at the speed of life for someone to receive training and job placement.”
After a record-setting year for economic development in 2021, Greater Memphis – which is at the center of the broader nine-county, three-state Digital Delta region – is preparing for a historic influx of skilled jobs in advanced industries, including manufacturing and logistics. The Chamber, as the voice of business in the region, has been at the forefront of those workforce development efforts, working with partners to make skilled training opportunities more accessible, widely known, and targeted to industry needs.
Those efforts align with the Chamber’s regional Prosper Memphis 2030 strategic plan, which has set regional goals of creating 50,000 jobs, adding 700 advanced industry firms, and certifying 20,000 people annually in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by the end of 2030.
Greater Memphis is located within the Tennessee Valley, a region abounding in geographic and economic opportunity. Workforce Invest, a first-of-its-kind program, leverages funds to develop a highly trained and qualified workforce to meet current and future market demands.
“Providing meaningful workforce training is a cornerstone issue of our national economy,” said Gray Swoope, President & CEO of VisionFirst Advisors. “TVA’s insight to develop the program will provide a multitude of opportunities not just for the participants but for entire communities. VisionFirst is thrilled to serve as the programmatic coordinator for Workforce Invest.”
Over the last two years, TVA has awarded Workforce Invest grants to more than 30 communities totaling more than $2 million.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ryan Poe, Director of Communications, Greater Memphis Chamber.
About the Greater Memphis Chamber: One of Memphis’ oldest institutions, the Greater Memphis Chamber is a privately funded nonprofit that serves as the region’s lead economic development organization and the “Voice of Memphis Business” on local, state, and national issues. The Chamber relentlessly pursues prosperity for all — through economic and workforce development, pro-growth advocacy, and by providing support and resources to its investors, which include many of the region’s largest employers. For more information about the Chamber, visit memphischamber.com and memphismoves.com. Also, follow the Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and sign up for its weekly newsletter, the Memphis Fourword.
About TVA: The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power supplier, delivering energy to 10 million people across seven southeastern states. TVA was established 90 years ago to serve this region and the nation by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges. TVA’s unique mission focuses on energy, environmental stewardship and economic development. With one of the largest, most diverse and cleanest energy systems – which includes nuclear, hydro, solar, gas and advanced technologies – TVA is a leader in our nation’s drive toward a clean energy future.
About VisionFirst Advisors: VisionFirst Advisors has established itself as a go-to firm in the economic development consulting field with a variety of clients from 40+ states and six Fortune 500 companies. With a customer-driven approach, our team acts seamlessly as an extension of our client’s team to develop strategy, solve problems and deliver results while mitigating risks and barriers. We know that no two projects are the same and our approach is tailored to each of our clients. Learn more at visionfirstadvisors.com.