Chamber Joins with Community Partners to Host Future Ready Expo
The culmination of 18 months of planning became reality on February 28 when the Future Ready Expo was held at the Walters State Expo Center, providing a day of career exploration for local students. Over 800 8th grade students enjoyed a day of interactive networking with local or-ganizations and businesses in advanced manufacturing, health & medical services, trade & industry and business & retail services. The students were given 40 minutes in each cluster to participate through hands-on ac-tivities provided by 85 exhibitors to learn more about careers and job opportunities in Morristown and the Lakeway Area.
In addition to the exhibits provided by local companies, the Tennessee Tech University STEMMobile was on site. This mobile learning laboratory provided a unique, educational experience with state-of-the-art equipment that enabled students to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) activities.
While the 8th graders attended the event from 8:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m., the late afternoon session of the event provided high school students, teachers, parents and the entire community with an opportunity to come out to also see the opportunities available to them. Many companies took applications and resumes, while others demonstrated the types of jobs available in their respective fields.
Committee members who organized the Expo included Chuck Carter, KC Alvarado and Angel Fowler with Hamblen County Schools, Stan Harville with HC*Excell, Richard Tidyman with the Education & Workforce Development Partnership, Chris Bell with Hamblen County Emergency Management, Andy Hall with Walters State, Wendy Harbin with MAHLE, Mattea McCann with Team Technologies, Keith Andrews with Tuff Torq Corporation and Jodi Barnard with Chamber. In addition to the committee members, over 20 other volunteers helped throughout the day in various ways.
The day was also made possible by the following sponsors:
- Supreme Sponsors – HC*Excell, LHRMA, MAHLE Engine Components, Walters State Community College and the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce
- Platinum Sponsors – Iconex, Colortech, Van Hool, Sykes Enterprises and Petoskey Plastics
- Gold Sponsors – Farmers Insurance—Jake Stokely Agency and Citizens National Bank
- In-Kind Sponsors – A1 Equipment Rental, Above All Equipment and South Marketing Group
- Hospitality Room Sponsors – Bojangles, Hamblen County Career & Technical Education, Food City, Performance Foodservice and Subway (David Helton)
This event is a great addition to the workforce development initiatives that are already taking place. The hope is for the event to be held annually so that students will continually have the opportunity to learn about careers and jobs available to them in our area.