The Future Ready Institutes were established in 2018 by the Hamilton County Department of Education in 13 high schools. The Chattanooga Chamber supports the Future Ready Institutes by connecting our business community with educators to ensure alignment between educational opportunities and regional workforce needs. The Chamber supports the institutes in a variety of ways, regularly convening and connecting business partners with opportunities for engagement at various levels.
Throughout the last fiscal year, the Chamber has partnered with Hamilton County Schools to provide support in regional talent development efforts. There are over 160 businesses involved in Future Ready Institutes Advisory Boards, Industry Councils, and Branded Partnerships and over 200 employers participating in internships, apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and teacher externships. With support from partners at Chattanooga State Community College, we have created 4 career pathways with partners that can be used to recruit students and adult learners into occupations aligned to target industries.
In January, we held the first annual Get (Future) Ready Event for 8th Graders. As part of the event, all Hamilton County 8th graders learn what they need to make more informed decisions about high school courses, postsecondary training and career paths. Before attending the event, every 8th grader took the YouScience test that helps measure the aptitudes of students and match students to their best-fit careers. Representatives from the Future Ready Institutes attended to discuss this path and enroll students. Community employers were present and provided interactive exhibits about job opportunities. There were over 3300 students in attendance, 25 participating business partners and 28 Future Ready Institutes.