Education & Workforce

Since its inception, TBR leaders have understood the need for a robust education system. In order to have a thriving economy, an educated populace is a necessity. Rigorous standards, high expectations of students, and aligned assessments are the building blocks of a prepared workforce. Below are some ways that TBR helps to ensure that Tennesseans are graduating with the skills necessary to be successful.

Education & Workforce Policy Platform

  • To ensure that Tennessee’s K-12 students graduate fully prepared for college and careers, the Tennessee Business Roundtable supports continuous improvement in pre-K, elementary and secondary education, through rigorous academic standards aligned with quality assessments, and properly trained and supported teachers.
  • To secure the skilled and productive workforce needed to sustain and grow Tennessee’s economy, TBR actively supports innovative collaboration between businesses, governments, schools, and communities to create and improve Early Post-Secondary Opportunities (EPSOs), work-based learning programs, and apprenticeship programs that are strongly aligned to our state’s current and future workforce needs.
  • To meet the goal of attainment of postsecondary credentials by 55% of Tennesseans by the year 2025, TBR supports active involvement by our state’s business community in Tennessee’s post-secondary education systems, to ensure greater availability and quality of post-secondary curricula and instruction, and strong alignment with our state’s emerging workforce needs.

Policy in Action

Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow

TBR partnered with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education to develop and release a brief entitled “Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow: Postsecondary And Career Readiness In Tennessee.” Intended as an informational resource for policy-makers, candidates, and advocates in business, education and communities, the brief summarizes Tennessee’s current state-, regional- and local-level responses to our state’s readiness challenges.

Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow: Action Items

Building on the full report, this one-pager lists what regional and local leaders and employers can do to start building Tennessee's workforce. Click the link above to find out what steps you can take today to start developing your talent pipeline.

Work-Based Learning

TBR 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.

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.

New Skills for Youth Grant Team

TBR is a member of Tennessee's NSFY Grant Team, which helped the state bring home one of ten $2 million dollar grants to focus on career readiness and increasing the number of students graduating with a degree or credential in high-skilled, in-demand industries.

Pathways Tennessee

TBR is a member of the Pathways TN State Planning Team. Pathways aims to provide Tennessee students rigorous academic/career pathways, which are linked to economic and labor market needs and trends.

TN Reconnect Grant

The TBR Foundation received a $350,000 grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help adults “Reconnect” to finish college degrees. Due to this grant, 64,094 adult Tennesseans visited the TN Reconnect website and 8,509 visitors got information and personal assistance toward re-enrollment.