Blount Partnership News and Events

Wake up to new business contacts at coffee club held Thursday, April 27 from 7:45-9 a.m. at Trinity Dental Clinic (1127 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., Maryville). Coffees are designed to offer our members the opportunity to build business relationships with other members and to gain exposure for their business or organization in an "open house" setting.

Coffees are open to anyone associated with a Chamber member business. Participation is not reserved to the representative(s) listed on the Chamber membership.
Check out our 78th installment of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email as we visit with Greg Householder, job developer for The Access Program (200 E. Broadway Ave, Suite 45, Maryville, TN 37804, 865. 256.9228) which finds jobs for people with disabilities.
If you or someone you know is looking for a job, please check out Additionally, if you need employees, please utilize the job board to advertise your open positions. Click here to get started.

Did you know you can advertise in the Chamber's lobby? With more than 2,500 visitors walking through the Chamber doors monthly, you can use the space to advertise for $300 a month. Contact Amy if you are interested.  
Gather a group of co-workers and head to Moe's Alcoa on April 26 as it will be donating 10% of all its sales to Kingdom Design Ministries. The event will be from open to close, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Join us Thursday, April 27 from 9-10 a.m. for Financing Your Business the SBA Way covers SBA loan options including which loan program meets a specific entrepreneurial need. The session begins with the 5 C's of credit including character, cash flow, collateral, capitalization and conditions. It then transitions to an overview of SBA's actual loan programs. Lastly, specific information will be shared about interest rates and repayment terms plus our participating lenders. Whether you are an existing entrepreneur or have given thought to starting a business, this seminar will put you ahead of the game in government guaranteed lending. Jacqueline Merritt, Small Business Administration, is the presenter. To register, please email or call Jacqueline Merritt or 615/736-7465.
Make plans to attend the free United Way of Blount County's Crisis Communications Workshop on Thursday, April 27 from 8-10 a.m. at 1615 East Broadway Avenue, Maryville. East Tennessee has dealt with a slew of major crises in recent months and years, impacting thousands of individuals, families, businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Now is the time for regional non-profits to gather lessons learned from some of our area's crisis-planning and emergency-response experts. Join the United Way of Blount County as it hosts public relations strategist Mary Beth West and a panel of local communications and crisis-response leaders who will discuss the essential elements of formulating a crisis plan in advance, as well as standing ready to respond quickly and effectively when disaster strikes. Presenter/Moderator: Mary Beth West, APR, Principal, Mary Beth West Communications, LLC Panelists: Jennie Bounds, Public Relations & Marketing Director, Blount Memorial Hospital Lance Coleman, Director, Blount County Emergency Management Agency John Jarrard, Advanced Disaster Relief Instructor, American Red Cross. Register here.
Come to the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) on Wednesday, May 3, from 3-4 p.m. as Robert B. Nicholas, Ph.D. of Tennesseeworks will present on the increasing number of the nation's leading employers have recognized the value of people with disabilities in meeting their workforce needs and have established disability recruitment initiatives. This presentation will provide information on:
Why hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense;
Examples of companies who have benefited from disability hiring initiatives;
Resources here in Tennessee that are available to assist employers with recruitment, training, and retention of jobseekers with disabilities.
RSVP to Amy.
STEAM camps provide fun and exciting ways to introduce students to careers in science & technology on a college campus. $395 fee includes daily lunch and a t-shirt. All camp times are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Ages 10+. Register at
Minecraft: Use math and technology to dive deeper into the game as you engage in modding techniques, understand what makes the game work and learn creative game design!
Videography: Mix creative artistry with technical skills for an action-packed experience as you record and edit film to create and produce your own powerful videos for a film festival finale!
Robotics: Explore the vast field of science and engineering through robotics as you conduct physics experiments and use your imagination to build a bot you'll take to a team competition!
Week 1&2: June 12-16/19-23, Blount County campus
Week 3&4: June 26-30/July 10-14, Hardin Valley campus
Registrations are currently being accepted for a free soft skills session set for April 28 entitled "Time Management." You're busy, but how productive are you? Join us to learn effective strategies for managing your time and boosting your effectiveness at work.

All classes are conducted in the Blount County Library's learning lab located at 508 N. Cusick in Maryville and limited to 50 participants. Those interested must register online at A complete class description is located on the registration site. All classes run from 8-10 a.m. with networking beginning at 7:30 a.m.
The Blount County Job Fair sponsored by Cirrus Aircraft and Pellissippi State Community College is coming to the Second Harvest Food Bank on Friday, May 19, 2017, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. If your business is interested in participating to hire new employees, email Claire for more details.
Join us Tuesday, May 9 from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) for an opportunity to learn more about the Chamber and the many opportunities that go along with being a member. Learn how to make the most of the benefits afforded to you. RSVP to Amy.
Please send in your May Member-to-Member promotions this week for the next email to be send out on May 1. With over 50 merchants participating, there's something for you. See what the Soup Kitchen is offering. Check out the member-to-member promotions. New offers are being posted almost daily, so check out the Blount County Chamber of Commerce Member-to-Member promotions online. This Member-to-Member Promotional Program offers you and your company the opportunity to market your products and services to the membership.
Here's how it works:
1. Submit a PDF of a service, product or discount you'd like to offer to the Chamber membership to Be sure to include an expiration date.
2. An email with all the promotions will be sent out on the final Monday of every month to our member database.
3. All promotions will be posted on
I know I've talked about how important it is to have a Facebook presence before. I should've expanded and explained that it is important to have a presence in all media outlets. As a consumer myself, when I see a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and the last post is over 2 weeks old, I get a bad taste in my mouth for the company. Is that fair? Probably not. Are customers always fair? Definitely not. Read more

Learn more about marketing your small business in a digital world, ask questions about social media, and take the time to discuss future campaign ideas. What are you waiting for? It's free with your chamber membership. Schedule your FREE session today.
If you have any questions regarding your free digital marketing member benefit ( Save Local Now), your digital platform, or online marketing in general please reach out the Blount Chamber's Rachel Coffman.
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
Customer service is more personalized, hands-on and noteworthy from smaller businesses.
Find what you're looking for in the Chamber Directory.
Is your organization hosting an event in the community? Submit it here on our community calendar. If it's a tourism event, please email Ashlee so she can post it on
Also, please send us any news releases or good news about your business. We'd love to share it with the community.
"Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," released as a single by American R&B group The 5th Dimension was in the midst of a six-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week in 1969. It is a medley of two songs written for the 1967 musical Hair. The song listed at number 66 on Billboard's "Greatest Songs of All Time."


April 24-30


April 24-30 -- Fred Weiser @ the Townsend Visitors Center
April 24 -- Southern Appalachian Studies Series: The Little Tennessee River at Blount County Public Library
April 26 -- Business Financial Management with QuickBooks
April 26 -- Kingdom Design Ministries Spirit Day at Moe's
April 27 -- Coffee Club at Trinity Dental Clinic
April 27 -- United Way of Blount County Crisis Communications Workshop
April 27 -- Financing Your Business the SBA Way
April 27 -- Family Promise of Blount County - Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening
April 28 -- Soft Skills Training -Time Management
April 28 -- Rock the Cradle to benefit A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee
April 29 -- Garden Clubs of Blount Co Plant Sale
April 29 -- Pregnancy Resource Center Superhero 5k and Family Fun Walk
April 29 -- LTVEC Birth-to-Three Breakfast for Babies


May 1-7


May 3 -- People with Disabilities: Valued Members of the 21st Century Workforce
May 4 -- "Visit A Park" Day
May 4 -- Community Food Connection Annual Fundraising dinner
May 4 -- May the Fourth Be With You: Star Wars Trivia @ Blount County Public Library
May 5-6 -- Townsend Spring Heritage Festival and Old Timers Day
May 5 -- UT and UTMC to Co-Host Stop Physician Burnout
May 5 -- Hops for Hope
May 6-7 -- University of Tennessee Executive MBA for Strategic Leadership - Open House
May 6 -- Kingdom Design Ministries Annual Golf Tournament
May 6-- Tennessee Pottery Festival @ The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
May 6 -- First Annual Blount County Imagination Library Graduation
May 6 -- Little River Railroad Days
May 6-7 -- Nawger Nob Arts and Crafts Festival
May 6 -- Sassafras Does the Derby - Blount Memorial Foundation's Spring Gala


Save the Date


You can access the entire calendar here to see other community events and submit your own.

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 78th installment visiting with Greg Householder, job developer for The Access Program (200 E. Broadway Ave, Suite 45, Maryville, TN 37804, 865. 256.9228) which finds jobs for people with disabilities.
Describe what TAP does. The Access Program provides job services for individuals who may have barriers to conventional employment. Many times these barriers include some type of disability. The Access Program provides several services to our clients including integrated work site assessments at an actual real world business where we can evaluate just what our clients can and cannot do, their endurance levels and what skills they possess that helps us find them jobs that are a good fit for them and the employer. We also conduct job readiness training where we work with our clients to teach them how to write resume's, fill out job applications, participate in a job interview, etc. Finally, perhaps our most important service is that we hunt for and hopefully are successful in placing our clients in a job that is mutually beneficial to them and their employer. We also provide job coaching services when our clients are newly hired to insure the chances for their success.
What background do your clients have? The Access Program employees come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have extensive experience with working with individuals with disabilities. Some have experience in vocational rehabilitation. Others have experience in community relations and sales. All of these varied experiences come together to find work for our clients.
Describe your customers. Our clients are individuals with disabilities who are referred to us from the Maryville Vocational Rehabilitation Center. Our clients come from mostly Blount County but we are also expanding into Anderson and Monroe counties. Our customers (consumers of our "product")are companies large and small who hire our clients.
What impacts the business environment you work in? Our business environment is impacted by social, economic, legal and political environments in a significant way. We serve as contractors for the state and are dependent on both federal and state dollars. Socially we are impacted by how society views individuals with disabilities. Legally we are guided by various laws and regulations that affect individuals with disabilities and their civil rights. We, like any business involving personnel staffing, are at the mercy of economic conditions - if the business community is contracting and laying off workers they are not hiring our clients.
What do you enjoy about working with TAP? Working for The Access Program provides our team members many rewards. First there is good feeling of working as a team towards a common goal - job developers find the jobs and employment specialists identifies the skills of our clients and together we match the client with the employer. Second there is the joy in helping someone who wants to work go to work.
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