In this one-of-a-kind executive session, we invited each declared 2018 gubernatorial candidate to share brief remarks outlining their vision for leading Tennessee’s economy forward as our next Governor, then to answer a short number of questions. Candidates then visited with our audience one by one in “round-robin” fashion, rather than appearing together. Nashville journalist, PR pro and political commentator Pat Nolan joined us as the facilitator for the Round-Robin and each TBR Member principal was invited to attend. In addition, each Member invited up to two C-suite-level executives from non-TBR companies to attend as his/her guest.
The Tennessee Business Roundtable favors changes to our nation’s current tax system that promote the growth of Tennessee’s economy, and the well-being and success of Tennessee families. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate of all industrialized countries, which hinders not only investments in and by Tennessee companies, but also job opportunities and higher wages for our state’s workers. Tennessee job-creators and wage-earners need and deserve relief from high rates, complex rules and competitive disadvantages created by the current system.
Work-Based Learning Summit
On Oct. 11th, the Roundtable convened a statewide Summit meeting of 140 business and education leaders to discuss the use of Work-Based Learning (WBL) at the high school level as a way of enriching the talent pipeline into high-need industries across the state. Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd, Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen, and Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development Burns Phillips participated in the event to share the importance of WBL from each Department’s perspective.
The Summit’s panel discussions showcased several subject matter experts, businesses and non-company “connectors” who delivered key knowledge and insights about successful use of WBL to Summit attendees. Many TBR members made substantial content contributions:
- TBR members Saint Thomas Health and Volkswagen shared their experiences of working with high school students during the Summit’s “Tennessee Companies” panel, highlighting both the benefits and the challenges their businesses face in working with minors.
- Kyle Southern, Director of Policy & Research at TBR member SCORE, moderated the “Companies” panel.
- TBR Treasurer Zan Blue (Constangy, Brooks, Smith, and Prophete, LLP) headed the Summit’s “Addressing Employee Concerns” panel, which discussed concerns shared by businesses working with youths–and approaches to overcoming them.
College Completion Academies
To date, the Roundtable has hosted 7 College Completion Academies, which are intensive two-day meetings designed to provide strategic planning support to two-year and four-year institutions and the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology as they think through goals in key priorities.
The first Tennessee Academy was held October 31-November 1, 2011, in Franklin, Tennessee. The second Academy was held on April 2-3, 2012, also in Franklin. A Completion Summit was held on March 27, 2014, in Nashville to provide an update on institutions’ progress following the initial Academies. Follow-up Academies were held on February 25-26, 2015, November 10-11, 2015, and November 17-18, 2016, in Nashville. This report details the first-ever Academy uniquely focused on student advising. The Advising Academy was held March 1-2, 2017, in Nashville. This most recent Advising Academy was called “Momentum Year!,” a nod toward the collective progress that has been made as the institutions progress through 2017.
The Tennessee Academies are modeled on the series of national Academies conducted by Complete College America. In fact, the Tennessee Academies spur from a recommendation that emerged from the Tennessee state team’s participation in the inaugural national CCA Academy in October 2010. The Tennessee Academies’ design is based on the national Academies, as well as feedback from participating institutions.