Blountville, Tennessee – Over 40 educators from Sullivan County Schools were paired with 21 industries on Tuesday, November 8 to learn the educational requirements for job positions in our community. This program has been in place for 25 years in Bristol and is now expanding to Sullivan County Schools.
BTES Business Development Manager April Eads explained, “Teacher Industry Day began as a way to promote economic and career development in our community. It has been incredibly successful for the past 25 years – even receiving international recognition in 2019 as one of the world’s best economic development programs – so we are excited to grow Teacher Industry Day in Sullivan County Schools!”
The all-day event began with a breakfast where Northeast State Community College President Dr. Jeff McCord welcomed attendees in the Technical Education Complex. After a brief program, teachers were paired with a local industry and spent the day with leaders touring their facility, discussing career opportunities and, ultimately, learning what skills are needed to work at that company.
Eads continued, “We want our students to have the best education possible and this starts with educators understanding what skills are needed in industries right here in our community.”
BTES and the Tennessee Valley Authority have sponsored the day since its inception.
“I am most appreciative of our industry partners gathering to provide insight and information regarding the needs of our local employers,” said Evelyn Rafalowski, Director of Sullivan County Schools. “It is important we realize the needs of local employers and are able to provide our students with accurate and informative facts regarding their needs.”
The goal of the day is for the educators to take what they learn back to their classrooms and help their students become more prepared to enter the workforce in the local area.
“Teacher Industry Day is a unique program in bringing business, workforce development, and our future workforce together,” said NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership CEO Clay Walker. “With workforce taking center stage as the top priority issue in site selection, our region’s innovative and effective strategies in helping our companies have a larger, more qualified workforce give us a significant advantage in business recruitment and this is one of the best initiatives as it has been in place for such a long time and has dozens of success stories resulting from it.”
Participating industries included Bell Helicopter, Bristol TN Police Department, Bristol TN Fire Department, BTES, City of Bristol TN, Bristol Metals, Economy Beauty, H. Johnson Pharmacy, Integrated Health, JA Street, Mattern & Craig, Metz Culinary Management, Microporous, Modern Forge, Royal Building Products, Seaman Corporation, Teleperformance, The Robinette Company, Tri City Extrusion, USAntibiotics, and Wallace Collision Center.