Building the Smartest Community in the South

So, what does this look like?


01 History

Chattanooga has always been a city of rich history and renewal.

25 years ago, Chattanooga came together to make great strides by rebranding as the Scenic City. Various sectors in the region have invested millions of dollars to revitalize the city and reorient the economy around tourism and the high-tech industry.

02 The City

Chattanooga was ranked #1 on Outside Magazine’s ‘Best Cities to Live’

“Fast Internet is Chattanooga’s New Locomotive” – The New York Times

“Well on its way to becoming one of America’s best mid-sized cities.” - The Washington Post

03 Jobs

Chattanooga is one of the top 10 metro areas for growing advanced industries, adding more than 12,000 jobs since 2010.

Nearly 10,000 new jobs will arrive in Hamilton County over the next few years as a result of our rapid expansion in automotive manufacturing and other advanced industries.

04 The Facts

With so many available jobs, we’re faced with a new charge.
It’s time to prepare our workforce for the years ahead.

Only 38% of Hamilton County residents have some type of postsecondary credential, but 55% of jobs posted by top the 10 employers require some form of postsecondary education.

Four out of ten students in Hamilton county live in poverty, which means there are focused supports needed for academic success.

Over 80% of the jobs paying a living wage ($35,000) in our area will require a postsecondary certificate or degree.

05 Our Data

When we improve in education, economic development is vastly different, allowing us to reach our potential as a city.

Download the Executive Summary of the Report.

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75%

Our goal is to reach 75% postsecondary educational attainment by 2025.

This means in 10 years, three of four of Hamilton County residents will graduate with a certificate, two-year degree, or four-year degree.

06 The Plan

Reaching this goal means commitment at every education level.

  • 100% of students need access to quality Pre-K programming

  • 90% of students will be reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade

  • 100% of students need to complete career exploration portfolios by 8th grade

  • 1,000 summer jobs and internships for high school students

  • 90% of high school students will enroll in an industry certification or postsecondary program during high school or upon graduation

07 Stories

Every day, we’re seeing progress in the lives of kids across our city, as we take action in tangible ways.

Meet Chris.

Gestamp has partnered with Tyner Academy to support the mechatronics program through work based learning opportunities for students, equipment and teacher professional development. This type of business partnership provides our students and educators with up-to-date and relevant experiences tied directly to workforce needs. Chris Nichols, a senior at Tyner Academy, participated in work based learning with Gestamp in the fall. This partnership provides students like him relevant and cutting-edge learning opportunities with connections to a skilled career path.

The normal high school experience is to go to class, perform in some sort of extracurricular activities, and go home to do homework. Luckily enough, my teacher, the school board, and Gestamp have partnered to provide a new experience that has taught me more than the typical school day could.

“The normal high school experience is to go to class, perform in some sort of extracurricular activities, and go home to do homework. Luckily enough, my teacher, the school board, and Gestamp have partnered to provide a new experience that has taught me more than the typical school day could. Through my experiences with the company I have learned more about the real world workforce, how a business runs, and how an efficient factory works. I got to see, and participate, in the improvement of a multi-million dollar international company. I was taught how the skills taught in school to thrive in the real world. In comparison to what I was learning before this program and what I learned in the program, I have learned more real world skills that go hand in hand with the skills taught in school. I recommend that more students get involved in programs exact, or similar, to the Work Based Learning Program that Tyner Academy is offering. If someone cares about what they are going to do with their career, then this program provides opportunities to discover new, interesting, fields of study.” – Chris

It doesn’t stop there. Visit our stories page, and meet more students like Chris.

08 Take Action

We want to make a degree or certification the reality for every student in Hamilton County, regardless of their background.

We’ve put Workstreams in place at every education level, to pinpoint actionable ways we can make a difference as a community.