Tennessee Chamber Update: Is a monthly newsletter distributed in place of the weekly Capitol Update which is produced when the legislature is in session. 
TN Chamber Update                          July 2017
In This Issue
2018 Election News
Upcoming TOSHA Seminars Topics
Fall 2017:
300 Log Recordkeeping

Working, Walking Surfaces 

Basic Safety 

Maintenance-Related Standards 

Silica in General Industry 

Bloodborne Pathogens for Healthcare

30-Hour OSHA for General Industry 

Visit tnchamber.org for more information; To register - Click ' Events' and f ind training date on calendar.
Tennessee Chamber Releases Summer 2017 Edition of  Business Insider

Last week, the Chamber officially released its summer edition of the 2017 Business Insider.  This year's edition details a host of important topics, particularly focusing on the business community's long list of legislative successes this year in the General Assembly.
Included in this summer edition are detailed listings of bill descriptions and key legislation supported and opposed by the Chamber, legislator vote scorecards, member-submitted content, helpful legal and policy summaries from the Chamber's regulatory and tax experts, and a political preview of the 2018 elections and what it means for Tennessee's business leaders.  The Business Insider was shipped earlier this month; if you would like an additional copy or digital copy, please  contact us.  
NLRBChamber President Pens Op-Ed in Support of Trump Nominees to NLRB
With Senate confirmation hearings expected to commence sometime this week, Tennessee Chamber President and CEO Bradley Jackson penned an opinion column in the Tennessean urging support for the Trump Administration's nominees to the National Labor Relations Board.
The NLRB - known to some as the "Supreme Court" of labor law - is governed by a five-person board that is appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Traditionally, the board is split, 3-2, with the majority of members coming from the party that controls the White House.
At this moment, however, the NLRB is currently stuck in a time warp, with hold-over appointments from the Obama White House still maintaining 2-1 control.  This has started to change: the Trump administration recently named the lone Republican member, Phil Miscimarra, as chairman and has nominated two new Republican members - Marvin Kaplan and Bill Emanuel, who are both respected attorneys.  For the employer community, getting these new board members through the Senate expeditiously is critical to reversing the precedents set by the previous administration's appointees, which brought a distinctly one-sided view of the law to its enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
With Tennessee's own Sen. Lamar Alexander serving as chairman of the NLRB's Senate oversight committee, our state stands uniquely positioned to frame the debate over the appropriate role of these labor regulators and guide the direction of the NLRB's new governing majority to restore a more balanced and cooperative approach to the Board's decision-making processes.
TNRECONNECTThe Next Hurdle for Tennessee Reconnect: Connecting with Adult Learners

In an insightful story from the Nashville Ledger, higher education policy experts and college administrators examine the challenges of getting the estimated 900,000 Tennesseans who have some college or certification credit, but no degree, to return to a postsecondary institution to complete their studies under the newly-passed Tennessee Reconnect Act.
Tennessee Reconnect will roll out during fall 2017 and into 2018, joining the Tennessee Promise program, both of which are geared toward helping students achieve a degree or certification. The state estimated that Tennessee Reconnect will cost roughly $10 million when fully implemented and, like Tennessee Promise, is funded by the Tennessee Lottery.  However, the adult program is thought to need more outreach than its counterpart for high-school students because its intended audience isn't nearly as captive.
On community college campuses, the activation of Tennessee Reconnect is being met with the same enthusiasm that Tennessee Promise was.  "We are ready and eager to help those adults earn a college degree or technical certification," says Nancy Patterson, vice president of college advancement and public relations at Chattanooga State Community College.  "We know they will be coming with work schedules that need to be planned around, and life has a way of slowing down their progression.
To that end, Patterson says Chattanooga State has launched college-scheduling technology, a tool that lets a student add or request classes through selection criteria based around his or her outside schedule. As students utilize it, the college can look at the times and types of classes needed and adjust academic planning accordingly. The college, along with its counterparts across the state, also will be using prior learning assessments, or PLAs, to gauge where a student's existing knowledge through work and/or military experience, for example, can be converted to college credits and thus moving them down the road toward completion more quickly.
Haslam and FedEx's Smith Talk Global Trade 

The Nashville Post's business section reports on a Q&A discussion held by FedEx founder Fred Smith and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.  Speaking to a crowd of entrepreneurs and others at Launch Tennessee's 36|86 conference, Haslam took the opportunity to ask Smith to defend global trade policies hammered by now-President Donald Trump on the campaign trail. 

"What are the dangers of withdrawing within ourselves" when it comes to trade, Haslam asked Smith, whose ensuing wide-ranging response included discussions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's secretary of state, Cordell Hull, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, and the campaign rhetoric of Donald Trump.  

"We're not going to pull up the drawbridges and not trade with the rest of the world," Smith said. "It's just not going to happen." 

Smith specifically cited the benefits of having foreign auto manufacturers in Tennessee, including the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. Trump recently called Germany "bad, very bad" on trade,  causing some consternation in Southern states  home to German companies.  

"The president finds imports as they win, we lose," Smith said. "That's not borne out in facts." Haslam similarly lamented that neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton would touch the Trans-Pacific Partnership "with a 10-foot pole."
CANADACanada Trade Delegation Visits Tennessee 

Highlight Strong Trading Relationship While Visiting Nashville & Memphis
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently led a trade mission to Tennessee.  It was an honor to discuss with the Honorable Perrin Beatty and his team the $14 billion of trade between Tennessee and Canada.  There are 170,000 Tennessean jobs tied directly to this trading relationship. 
"Tennessee is one of the 35 states that list Canada as their main export customer," said Mr. Beatty. "Canadian companies in auto parts, in machinery, in plastic goods and in healthcare all invest heavily in the state. With this mission, we want to highlight this level of investment and encourage Tennessee businesses to continue to work with Canadian companies." 

You can read more  here  or check out Canadian Chamber President @PerrinBetty  on twitter.  From their pictures we think they really enjoyed visiting the Volunteer State during the week of July 4th.  
TNSMALLBIZTennessee Leads Nation in Small Business Hiring, as Labor Market Tightens

A report by payroll processor Paychex Inc. said Wednesday that Tennessee led the nation in small business job growth during June with employment gains of 1.31 percent over the past year.  Nationwide, the pace of small business hiring is slowing, and the Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch fell during June for the fourth consecutive month to its lowest level since late 2011.  Read more in the Times Free Press.
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Workforce Update:
Tennessee Chamber Working to Find Solutions to Employers Concerns

August 30th - TN Chamber to host Workforce Conference in Nashville to share local stories and programs that are working

Education and workforce development issues remain some of the most pressing challenges facing business and industry in our state.  A number of business leaders have deemed Tennessee students' persistent skills gaps and workforce shortages to be a "crisis" that threatens our economic growth and competitiveness. 
Leaders of business and industry, local chambers, workforce and economic development agencies, and Tennessee's higher education community are all hard at work to constantly strengthen our state's workforce preparedness and close skills gaps. Please make plans to join us for a unique conference where we will cover a host of timely and pressing workforce topics and engage with business, education, and community leaders to navigate a path forward and explore potential solutions that promise to remedy employers' top concerns.
Report: Seattle a Cautionary Tale for States and Municipalities Considering Minimum Wage Hikes

In an insightful  report from the Washington Post , economists and policymakers examine the negative consequences of Seattle's decision to increase its minimum wage requirement to $15 per hour.

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city's minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they'd hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.  Some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They've cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city.  On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.

RUTHERFORDRutherford Chamber Takes the Lead in Addressing Skills Gaps with Innovative Work-Based Learning Program for Local High Schoolers

In a story from the Daily News Journal, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce is tackling local workforce shortages head-on with an innovative summer internship program that partners local high schools with growing businesses and industries in the Rutherford County area.
The program, dubbed Rutherford Works, pairs a select group of student applicants with internship roles at a variety of local businesses during the students' summer break.  As part of the internship program, students earn $10 per hour and are placed in businesses throughout Rutherford County for 16 hours per week during the month of June. On Fridays, students gather at the Chamber of Commerce for soft skill development, such as personal branding, post-secondary planning and networking. 
Out of more than 250 applicants, only 50 Rutherford County high school students were accepted into the third annual Rutherford Works High School Internship Program, underscoring the surging demand and student interest in work-based learning experiences. 
Tennessee Manufacturers Association (TMA) Road Show Tour 
The Tennessee Chamber, which also serves as the Tennessee Manufacturing Association, continues our statewide tour this summer partnering with local chambers to host manufacturing round-tables across the state.  Manufacturing is critical to our economic growth and the round-tables will allow important networking opportunities to hear from leaders about important policy topics impacting manufacturing.
Denise Rice, the new Director for the Tennessee Manufacturers Association is conducting the events, and we hope you can join us!  Most importantly, we want to hear from manufacturers about their most pressing concerns and how we can partner to find solutions. 
The event is FREE 
so we hope you will join us & bring a friend.

  July 20- Columbia   (*8:00-9:00AM)
July 27- Cleveland (7:30-8:30AM)
        August 2 - Chattanooga (7:30-8:30AM)

 *Register online at www.tnchamber.org > Events > Calendar date
Project Lead the Way
Our world faces many challenges, to solve these challenges we need to continue fostering passionate and creative engineers, scientists, and researchers. To inspire the next generation of innovators, creators, and problem-solvers, we must engage students early and provide them with quality STEM learning opportunities in grades K-12.

Project Lead The Way provides transformative learning opportunities for K-12 students across the U.S., as well as teacher professional development that equips teachers with the support and resources they need to empower and inspire students. Through PLTW programs in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, students develop a solid foundation in math and science, while also building skills like problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication.

In Tennessee, Project Lead The Way Core Training is hosted at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. We would love for you to join us and encourage all schools to learn more about how PLTW can fit into their school.

To learn more about PLTW, find a PLTW school in your area, attend Core Training, or get involved in expanding PLTW in Tennessee, contact Affiliate Director Jim Kurtz or assistant Gabi Norton.

TRUMPORDERTrump Signs Executive Order on Apprenticeships

The Hill (6/15, Fabian) reports that "President Trump will sign an executive order Thursday designed to expand apprenticeships to train people for millions of unfilled jobs," and adds that the order "directs the Labor Department to draft new rules allowing companies, industry groups and unions to create and certify their own programs, which would then be approved by the department." MarketWatch (6/15, Schroeder) reports that the order "will double federal spending on apprenticeships to about $200 million annually." The AP (6/15, Kellman) reports that "the money would come from existing job training programs." The AP adds, "Trump is directing the government to review and streamline some 43 workforce programs across 13 agencies." Fox Business (6/15, Wisner) quotes former CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder saying, "It's really the private sector that needs to engage in apprenticeships, internships, vocational training to try and fill the jobs that they have where they can't find the people to fill the jobs." USA Today (6/15, Swartz) reports that "a lack of skilled workers has created a hiring gap across several industries." 
UAWUAW Says Supreme Court Action Bolsters Volkswagen Case

The Associated Press reports that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision involving micro collective bargaining units in a labor dispute with Macy's department stores might impact a similar case action brought by Volkswagen currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.  

Volkswagen is appealing National Labor Relations Board decisions that paved the way for a vote among about 160 skilled-trades workers at the plant to be represented by the UAW. The union won that election on a 108-44 , the UAW's first victory at a foreign-owned auto plant in the South.
But the company has refused to bargain with the UAW while it argues in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that union representation decisions should only be made by the entire hourly workforce. Macy's made much the same arguments in its unsuccessful appeal involving a similar labor arrangement for fragrance and cosmetics sales staffers at a Macy's department store. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the case.
The labor relations board has drawn the ire of Republicans and national business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for allowing the proliferation of what they deride as "micro" bargaining units.  Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor and a vocal UAW opponent, last month co-sponsored legislation seeking to reverse the NLRB's precedent-setting 2011 decision in favor of certified nursing staff creating a 53-person bargaining unit at Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, Alabama, at the exclusion of other workers there.
TDOTTDOT Launches New Anti-Littering Campaign Entitled "Don't Trash Tennessee" 
The Tennessee Department of Transportation this month launched a new litter prevention campaign to help keep trash off Tennessee roadways. The "Nobody Trashes Tennessee" campaign will soon be seen on billboards and commercials, as well as educational programs and anti-litter promotional items.

A 2016 field study of litter along TDOT rights-of-way found that, though roadside trash is down 53 percent since 2006, there are still an estimated 100 million pieces of trash on Tennessee roadways ("Visible Litter Study," nFront Consulting, October 2016). Littering, whether deliberate or unintentional, is punishable under Tennessee law, and it can cost offenders $50 to $3,000 in fines.  For more information about the "Nobody Trashes Tennessee" campaign and to view the first Public Service Announcement, visit: www.nobodytrashestennessee.com

WOTUSEPA Moves to Repeal Obama Water Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule on Tuesday that would repeal the Obama administration's Waters of the US rule. "This is the first step in the two-step process to redefine 'waters of the US,' and we are committed to moving through this re-evaluation to quickly provide regulatory certainty, in a way that is thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.  The Hill   (6/27) 
HEALTHCAREHow Did the U.S. Arrive at Employer Based Healthcare?

Dan Gorenstein (Marketplace, 6/28) has a brief history of the forces that drove the adoption of the employer based health insurance system in the United States.  In 1942, America is at War, many of her men are fighting overseas, and back at home there is a labor shortage.  The threat of inflation leads the National War Labor Board to institute a "wage cap", but the U.S. government rules that health insurance is exempt from this cap and tax free.  Employers offer health insurance as an attractive benefit to recruit the best workers. These events follow the discovery of penicillin (a true miracle drug at the time) and birth of modern medicine.  Read more here about the origins of employer based health insurance and how it expanded in the 1950s. 
McNally Named to Board of Republican Lieutenant MCNALLYGovernor's Association 

In a news release, the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA), part of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), announced its full 2017 Executive Committee. The committee is made up of lieutenant governors from across the U.S. and they will work closely with the previously announced RLGA leadership team of Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, Chairman; North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Vice-Chairman; Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Co-Chair for Policy; and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Co-Chair for Finance. 

The 2017 Executive Committee is made up of Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. 

The RLGA has played a critical role in expanding Republican control of lieutenant governor offices nationwide.  The RLGA has already begun investing in the next election cycle, announcing a $25,000 contribution to Jill Vogel's campaign for Virginia's lieutenant governor.
ELECTION2018Moving Up, Over, and Out:
2018 Announcements Keep Rolling In 
The field of announced gubernatorial contenders continues to grow larger as reports intensified this month that House Speaker Beth Harwell's official entry into the contest was imminent.  If she were to announce her candidacy in July, as anticipated, she would join an increasingly crowded field of contenders, including former Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd, Lee Company founder Bill Lee, and Wilson County State Senator Mae Beavers.  Waiting in the wings, Congresswoman Diane Black and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris are said to still be carefully considering entering the race, with Black reportedly inching closer to an affirmative decision.  Speaker Harwell's exit from the House would not only likely touch off heated primary and general election races to replace her in her district, but would also almost surely yield a potentially seismic shake-up in House leadership to succeed her speakership.   

With  State Sen. Mae Beavers' recent announcement of her intentions to run for governor, the prospect of a vacancy in her senate district is creating a down-ballot ripple effect.  Shortly after kicking off her gubernatorial campaign, Lebanon Republican and longtime State Representative Mark Pody 
announced  he would abandon his House seat in an effort to succeed Beavers in the Senate.  While no official announcements have yet been made on who will seek to succeed Pody in the House, rumors on the ground in Wilson County suggest local insurance agent Clark Boyd is considering a run.  Both Pody and Boyd, who unsuccessfully sought election to the Senate in 2014, will likely face contested Republican primary elections if they follow through with their campaign plans.   

Likewise, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron officially launched his campaign for Rutherford County Mayor over the July 4th weekend, signaling his intentions to exit the State Senate and triggering an almost-immediate response from State Representative Dawn White that she would, in turn, be vacating her House seat to seek election to Ketron's senate slot.  Just as Beavers's announcement to run for Governor created a down-ticket ripple effect for her senate and Pody's house seats in Wilson County, Ketron's decision to seek the county mayor's post has set off a string of corresponding electoral contests in Rutherford County, setting the stage for what will surely be a heated Republican Primary ballot for multiple state-level offices in 2018.  Current Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess, who bills himself as a "pragmatic" conservative, will square off against White for Ketron's senate seat.  As for the District 37 House seat that White plans to vacate, current Rutherford County Commissioner Charlie Baum has reportedly expressed interest in running for the seat.   

State Representative Harry Brooks also announced r ecently that he would not be seeking re-election in a press conference he held outside of Gibbs High School.  True to his long-standing reputation of being a tireless and selfless advocate for students and education, Chairman Brooks concurrently announced in the same press conference that he would be donating almost the entirely of his remaining campaign funds- over $66,000- to the local high schools in the Knox County area.  The vacancy will undoubtedly draw a crowded field of Republican Primary contenders in the suburban (and even partially rural) East Knox County district, and local reports are already suggesting that Knox County Commission Chairman Dave Wright is strongly considering a bid.   

Knoxville Republican State Representative Roger Kane is also hinting that he may not seek re-election to his House seat, opting instead to run for Knox County Clerk.  He joins State Representative Judd Matheny in a growing list of incumbent legislators who are likely to leave their current post in the General Assembly and instead run for other offices.  In Matheny's case, he recently confirmed that he would be entering the 6th district congressional race, currently held by Congresswoman Diane Black, regardless of her decision to seek the governorship.  While each of these announcements signals a likely Republican Primary contest at the federal and local levels for these would-be challengers, they also signal an ever-growing tide of upcoming legislative turnover in the 2018 cycle.   

Similar to the Beavers-Pody scenario in the House and Senate Republican Caucuses, State Representative Brenda Gilmore's  announcement earlier this year that she would be seeking the seat of expectantly-retiring State Senator Thelma Harper has set off a battle in Democratic circles to succeed Gilmore in her soon-to-be vacant House seat.  The Nashville Post reports that District 5 Metro Councilman Scott Davis plans to run for the District 54 House office.  Davis's announcement, in turn, prompted local Davidson County Democratic Party activist Whitney Pastorek to announce her intentions to challenge Davis for the seat.   

Emerging on the Senate side last month, months-long rumors about Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris being under consideration for appointment to a federal judgeship were confirmed by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.  Norris, who is also rumored to be strongly considering a 2018 run for governor, is being vetted as a possible Trump administration pick for one of two vacant U.S. District Court judgeships in West Tennessee.  Should he be officially nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, his departure from the legislature would likely touch off a heated contest to replace him in the largely Republican Shelby County district.
Affinity Partner Spotlight:
  Heritage-Crystal Clean 

The Tennessee Chamber is excited to announce that our members can now save 25% or more from Heritage-Crystal Clean (HCC).  HCC is a 2nd largest Environmental Service company in the US.  They are a leading provider of parts cleaning equipment, used oil pick-up and re-refining, hazardous and non-Hazardous waste and universal waste.  There Field Services range from tank cleaning, vacuum services, soil remediation, spill response, high pressure washing, frac tank cleaning, oily waters/petroleum containment waters.

Along with the discount, TCCI members will not be charged for waste profiles or set-up and installation fees.  With offices in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, HCC is available to service your environmental needs.

For product or savings information contact: Dean Popovich- (877) 938-7948 or dean.popovich@crystal-clean.com