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Gardenhire, Bell Offer Support to the New Chamber Initiative

This article was originally published on clevelandbanner.com.


Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) along with Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) have announced their public support for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce’s workforce development campaign. It is titled “Your Skills. Your Future.”

The senators have launched a direct mail piece to educate students, parents, returning veterans and career seekers on the tools and resources available to connect with local technical training programs, leading to a successful career path. The piece will be mailed to more than 47,000 households, including many that have limited or no internet access.

“I am proud that Cleveland/Bradley County led the nation in the share of new jobs added last year,” Bell said. “However, to maintain this, we must have a qualified, skilled workforce in place to meet the current and future industry demands.”

Launched on Jan. 27, the campaign is an initiative to create a well-qualified workforce to meet the ever-increasing, local job opportunities by developing an individual’s skills and passions into a successful and sustainable career. The initiative includes local school partnerships, such as Cleveland State Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Athens, Cleveland City Schools and Bradley County Schools.

“Workforce development and job creation in this district are critical to recruiting new industry, and helping existing companies to expand,” Gardenhire said. “I am 100 percent committed to doing whatever I can to make the ‘Your Skills. Your Future.’ campaign successful.”

The campaign connects existing industry opportunities to community members across Bradley County and the immediate 11-county region, while communicating the message that most skilled-trade jobs require only a two-year degree or certificate, and little-to-no student loan debt.

Many community members from the surrounding 11-county region commute to work for industries located in Cleveland, Charleston and Bradley County.

“Sens. Gardenhire and Bell understand the value of a well-qualified technical workforce. We really appreciate the support we are getting from our state legislative representatives for this important program,” said Gary Farlow, president and CEO of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce.