Since its inception, Roundtable 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 the Roundtable helps to ensure that Tennesseans are graduating with the skills necessary to be successful.

Policy Priorities

Accelerate alignment between the K-12 and post-secondary curricula that supply the high-skill, living-wage occupations in greatest demand in Tennessee’s economy.

  • To ensure they can fully meet the demands of the 21st-century global economy in which they’ll compete, Tennessee must make it as easy as possible for our students to connect the K-12 and post-secondary curricula offering them the competencies and credentials they need for workforce success.

  • Both K-12 and higher education public resource investments should support such curricula alignment at a high-priority level, and in higher amounts if necessary.


Better-coordinate Tennessee state government’s workforce-development efforts, make them more transparent to those served, and open them up to input from and involvement by our state’s job-creators.

  • The Roundtable supports greater alignment and coordination of workforce-development efforts among Tennessee’s executive branch agencies, including the Governor’s office, the Departments of Economic & Community Development and Education and Labor & Workforce Development, the State Workforce Development Board, and the TN Higher Education Commission.

  • The Roundtable calls for enhanced transparency about these economically vital state efforts, and for job-creators to receive more opportunities both to inform them and to align their own efforts with those of the state.

Work-Based Learning

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.

Pathways Tennessee

The Roundtable 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.

The Roundtable 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.

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