Press Releases

Haslam Wants To Pair Up Students, Businesses

Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor, March 24, 2010:

Will Work With Businesses, Postsecondary Institutions to Train Workers, Meet Workforce Needs

CHATTANOOGA – Speaking with business leaders, higher education officials, and economic development professionals during a key stop on his statewide Jobs Tour, Republican gubernatorial candidate and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam announced today a plan to help foster workforce development partnerships between Tennessee businesses and postsecondary institutions.

As governor, Mayor Haslam will work to create seamless transitions between postsecondary education and training and the workforce. Earlier this month, Mayor Haslam announced a plan to install regional jobs base camps across the state that will help align and coordinate local economic development efforts and produce powerful strategies to leverage each region’s unique assets.

As a part of the Mayor’s plan to improve workforce development efforts, the directors of these 10-13 base camps will work closely with businesses and postsecondary institutions to create partnerships that help businesses meet workforce demands and help university, community college, and technical center graduates obtain good jobs.

“We should constantly be looking for new ways to partner and create mutually beneficial relationships that ultimately lead to employed Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “Nearly 11 percent of Tennessee workers are currently unemployed, and at the same time, I’ve heard from business owners throughout this Jobs Tour who have told me there’s a shortage of available workers who possess the skills they need,” Haslam continued. “I believe there’s a clear opportunity to do more to help Tennesseans obtain good jobs.

“Throughout the state, there are examples of these types of partnerships,” said Haslam. “Right here in Chattanooga, TVA has had a long-standing relationship with Chattanooga State, which in the past couple years has been taken to a whole new level.”

At this morning’s meeting in Chattanooga, Mayor Haslam emphasized the special nature of the partnership between the Tennessee Valley Authority and Chattanooga State Community College that led to the creation of an entirely new degree program designed to help TVA meet its rising demand for radiation protection technicians. Chattanooga State has a Memorandum of Understanding with TVA that TVA will consider graduates for jobs, and with the first class graduating with associate degrees of applied science in radiation protection technology this May, some students should be landing high quality jobs with TVA in the near future.

“If we look at Clarksville, there’s another great example of this special type of partnership. The state helped foster a relationship between Austin Peay State University and Hemlock, who is going to be a major employer for that region,” Haslam added.

“There are opportunities all across the state to align the needs of businesses, postsecondary institutions, and workers,” Haslam continued. “As governor, I’m going to focus on developing these relationships as a part of my overall effort to create and retain high quality jobs in Tennessee.”

Mayor Haslam is spending Week Three of his three-week, statewide Jobs Tour in East Tennessee, and today is being spent in Bradley, Hamilton, and McMinn counties conducting small business roundtables and meeting with economic development professionals and local business and education leaders. The remainder of the schedule for the East Tennessee swing of the Jobs Tour can be found below.

Bill Haslam is the two-term Mayor of Knoxville, re-elected in 2007 with 87% of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, he led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees. His combination of executive and public service experience makes him uniquely qualified to be Tennessee’s next Governor. Bill is the right person at the right time to lead Tennessee.

Bill and Crissy Haslam have two daughters, Annie and Leigh, and a son, Will, who resides in Knoxville with his wife, Hannah.

To follow Mayor Haslam on his Jobs Tour and submit ideas for how to grow our state’s economy, please visit For more information on Bill Haslam, please visit

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