Welcome to our newsletter:
How the TN Career Awareness & Preparation System (TN-CAPS) Works
In early 2020, TN-CAPS will offer K-12 educators a free career-in-classroom solution where localized lesson plans and employer information will be searchable and easily accessible.

In our last issue of Connecting Kids to Local Careers, you got a sneak peek into the classroom-ready academic lessons, which highlight local, high-demand careers and provide ready-to-use resources for teachers to inspire students to become motivated to pursue career paths available in their communities.

But, how does it work?

First … the Tennessee Chamber and local Chambers are recruiting businesses to be featured in the TN-CAPS portal. They are also working to engage regional education leadership.

Second … businesses complete surveys that provide information about future career needs, and indicate the ways in which they are willing to engage with schools and classrooms. If you are a business and want to be included in TN-CAPS, please fill out this TN-CAPS Business Survey. Information from participating businesses is then linked to appropriate classroom lessons in TN-CAPS. 

Third … teachers will be provided free access to the online, customized resources and will be able to introduce students to local careers through lesson plans. Teachers are encouraged to utilize business’ contact information to link to nearby companies interested in connecting kids to local careers. The pilot sites are planned to launch in Jan. 2020.

Last … students are able to connect, either in person or virtually, with local employers to see careers in action and to realize “what they can be when they grow up!”

The goal is to provide local Chambers, employers and schools the ability to excite students about careers available in their own communities.
Sneak Peek: TN-CAPS Pilot Partner Businesses
To begin the TN-CAPS effort, six regional areas were chosen throughout the state to pilot the system. Thank you to the chambers, businesses, and educational partners already participating in our six pilot communities, which are:

  • Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce
  • Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce
  • Collierville Partners in Education
  • Jackson Chamber of Commerce
  • Kingsport Chamber of Commerce
  • Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce

At the heart of the TN-CAPS pilots, local Chambers and businesses across the state are stepping up to identify workforce needs, provide information and feedback for the lessons, and offer time, talents, and resources to bring careers into classrooms. Once launched, the rest of the state will have access and new businesses will be added on a rolling basis.

“In Bradley County, we are excited to be a part of the pilot for TN-CAPS. We believe that this system will enhance our efforts and provide further connections for our schools to local career opportunities for our students," said Mike Griffin, President and CEO, Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber. "It will be an instrumental tool for our local businesses and spur economic development by ensuring our future workforce is prepared for local jobs available.”

Over 65 companies throughout Tennessee have completed surveys to date, and indicated their willingness to get involved with educators and students in a broad array of activities. A few examples include:

  • DENSO Manufacturing in Athens will provide curriculum support and experiential learning programs for all grade levels.
  • FedEx Services in Collierville will provide in-person and virtual guest speakers for high school classrooms.
  • Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga will provide virtual field trips to students in high school.
  • Stanley Black & Decker in Jackson will provide paid internships, apprenticeships, or co-ops to eligible students in grades 9 through 12.
  • Domtar Paper Company in Kingsport will provide volunteer opportunities and mentorship to middle and high school students.
  • Nissan in Smyrna will provide learning opportunities to middle and high schoolers such as job shadowing, externships, and internships.

All of these companies indicated that they would also support career fairs and one-day field trips, as well as many other suggested engagement options like video or picture uploads, resume reviews, project feedback, interview preparation, sponsorships, and product or equipment donations.

Educators are also excited and eager for the TN-CAPS pilot launch in January in the pilot areas when they will have access to lesson plans incorporating localized career-in-classroom opportunities for their students.

"Our biggest motivator for bringing TN-CAPS to Jackson is the ability to help students make connections with the postsecondary opportunities that exist within our community. We are excited about continuing to educate our students on the many options they have for future careers in our county and region," said Dr. Jared Myracle, Chief Academic Officer, Jackson-Madison County School System . "Our local career readiness plan, LAUNCH, places a heavy emphasis on career exploration in elementary and middle schools so that students are positioned to begin obtaining college credits and industry certifications towards a path of their choosing when they enter high school."
Help spread the word about this great opportunity coming to classrooms across Tennessee! Forward this email to your colleagues and ask them to sign up to stay informed and receive updates on TN-CAPS!

Have relevant workforce development news in your area? We want to know!
News From Our Pilot Communities:
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation Establishes BlueCross Technology Academy at Soddy Daisy High School
As part of the Hamilton County Department of Education’s Future Ready Institute initiative, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation has provided $250,000 to fund the BlueCross Technology Academy at Soddy Daisy High School. Curriculum will combine coursework with mentoring to prepare local students for high-tech careers. Read More
Gov. Bill Lee: ‘What’s happening in JMCSS needs to be duplicated’
Governor Bill Lee learned how Jackson Central-Merry Early College High students balancing their high school classes, college courses and extracurricular activities. Read More
FedEx and SCS partnership promises jobs to students in new logistics academy
Memphis high schoolers spent part of their fall breaks learning more about leadership and career opportunities during workshops within FedEx. Read More
Blount County Schools director shares vision for career academy, K-5 behavior center
Blount County is looking at the possibility of creating an Eagleton College and Career Academy, a "small community high school" with a career focus. Read More
“GIVE” grants to provide $25 million across the state
Through GIVE, or the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education, colleges across the state will be receiving funding to prioritize career and technical education. The program will provide grants to projects in low income and at risk areas across Tennessee. Read More
Gov. Bill Lee touts MTSU, Meharry plan to put doctors in rural Tennessee
Thanks to a partnership with MTSU, students are on the fast-track into medical school at Meharry Medical College. This partnership was formed to help the rural healthcare crisis.  Read More