Q: What is Chattanooga 2.0?
A: Chattanooga 2.0 is a community-wide education initiative focused on cradle through career talent development in Hamilton County. When we are successful in supporting and developing local talent pipelines, we will enable employers to spend more time selecting qualified talent, verses searching for it.
These two points summarize the intent of the movement:
1. A community-wide initiative to improve academic excellence and career credentials in Hamilton County;
2. An opportunity to improve the quality of life of all future graduates by connecting them to jobs that pay a living wage.
Q: What are the goals of 2.0?
1) Double the percentage of graduates from Hamilton County public schools that obtain a postsecondary degree or credential, from 30% to 60% by 2025.
2) Increase the overall percentage of adults in Hamilton County with a college degree or technical training certificate from 38% to 75% 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.
Q: We have seen these efforts in the past. Why is Chatt 2.0 different?
A: Commitment and collaboration by a vast array of local organizations. It’s not an issue of geography or ability. It’s an issue of support and expectation. Some of our local data is sobering, but national statistics show that, of students in poverty who are on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, 90 percent will graduate on time.
We know first-hand what can be done when a community comes together to lead. We have already begun to successfully break down silos via our action teams. Organizations are coming together to create solutions to education challenges like never before in our county.
Q: What is collective impact?
A: Collective impact brings people from different sectors together to use a structured form of collaboration to achieve specific community-wide changes. Together, our ability to impact change is stronger than when we work in silos.
Q: Who is the leadership of Chattanooga 2.0?
A: Molly Blankenship has been the Executive Director of Chattanooga 2.0 since July 2019. A small Executive Committee comprised of community leaders meets monthly to oversee coalition progress towards goals.
Q: Why will 2.0 make a difference?
A: Now is the time to invest in our people – with education and training – to ensure greater equity and opportunity for all – in every neighborhood and every family – as we build a bridge to the jobs of the future in Hamilton County.
A great city and an engaged community provide a quality education and a sustainable economic future for all residents. To achieve these goals, our community is coming together on a commitment for the future. The jobs are here and more will come. Over 83 percent of the jobs will pay at least $35,000 per year and require education past high school.
Q: How did 2.0 start?
A: 2.0 started with a group of education, business, and community leaders who joined together to release a report summarizing workforce challenges along with significant educational opportunities for Hamilton County and the region. Led by the Benwood Foundation, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Hamilton County Department of Education, and the Public Education Foundation (PEF), this joint effort was started in 2015 to gauge the interest in and support for a comprehensive, long-term approach to achieving academic excellence for all students in Hamilton County and to provide an educated workforce to fill the growing job opportunities in our region. After the initial report was published and feedback was gathered during our 100 Days of Community Engagement, we set forth on a plan to ensure that 75 percent of all Hamilton County high school graduates successfully obtain a college degree or technical certification by the year 2025. The plan included 10 Priority Areas to help us achieve our two bold goals. 7 volunteer action teams comprised of leaders from across the community were formed, and the strategic work has been ongoing ever since.
Q: How do I get involved?
A: Visit www.chatt2.org/join/ to see all the ways you can get involved as an educator, parent, business, or faith-based organization.
Q: How do I receive more information?
A: Sign up on our website to receive the full Chattanooga 2.0 report and updates. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.