To help answer the question ‘How do I get work experience when I don’t have any?’ and many other first-job concerns from area students, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce developed a number of programs to prepare job applicants to enter the workforce.
The Chamber recruited 1,100 volunteers in the 2015-16 school year to deliver six School to Work programs to 14,895 students across Hamilton County. Check out our School to Work programs on this timeline and give us a call at 423-756-2121 to volunteer.
A partnership between the Chamber, Hamilton County Department of Education, Chattanooga State and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, College Day Out serves as an introduction to college and the various courses of study available on campus. During the 2015-16 school year, 65 volunteers escorted 2,629 fifth and sixth-graders around local college campuses.
Career Crunch is an annual two-day career fair for eighth-graders. Last year, 280 local professionals from more than 60 companies taught students about the educational requirements for in-demand jobs, encouraging them to plan for the future.
Reality Check teaches ninth-graders about budgeting and emphasizes the connection between education and income. During Reality Check, students consider how to allocate a set budget to provide for a hypothetical family. During the last school year, more than 380 volunteers helped more than 3,290 students learn real-life skills through Reality Check.
Get a Job teaches 10th-graders about interviewing, completing job applications, dressing for success and other important aspects of joining the workforce. Last year, 98 volunteers helped 2,125 students learn the basic soft skills they need to snag that first job.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? teaches money management to 11th-graders, focusing on saving and credit card management. 10 volunteers presented this program to 674 11th-graders last year.
The College & Career Fair helps 11th and 12th-graders network with college representatives and local professionals. Vendors set up booths and share information about higher education and immediate career opportunities. More than 2,649 students attended last year’s College & Career Fair.
Keeping the Promise
The Chamber partnered with Chattanooga State Community College to provide information and orientation sessions to 350 students interested in Tennessee promise.
Chamber Job Fairs Make a Difference
The Chamber’s annual Spring Job Fair has garnered a reputation as the premier job fair in the greater Chattanooga area. This year’s participating employers represented industries including advanced manufacturing, finance, call centers and transportation.
75 regional employers 1,022 job seekers
Preliminary results from 31 of the 75 companies represented reveal that 351 job seekers were hired as a direct result of interviews conducted at the job fair. Employers also indicated that they would hire 387 attendees within the next six months with another 643 job seekers identified as potential candidates for future hire.
In addition, the Chamber held several company-specific job fairs to assist local employers with their recruitment needs – these included 11 community job fairs for 2,444 job seekers.
The Chamber also hosted How to Get A Job 101 sessions for job seekers prior to the job fairs, with 79 individuals attending. Local employers taught classes on resume writing, interview skills, what employers expect, how to dress, working the job fair, etc. Employers stated on follow-up surveys that they could “tell the difference” between attendees who attended those sessions and other attendees.