The Crossville/Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce is taking a new approach to retaining local youth as part of the workforce after high school. According to Chamber President and CEO Brad Allamong, the chamber’s Workforce-Development Division has begun exploring “how to get our hands around more employees in the county.” Allamong told 1057 News, “We’re working to put in place an industry-readiness training program to develop a readiness skillset” for those high-school grads for whom college is not part of the career path.
Not every student goes on to a four-year college after high school, and it benefits the community to invest in various ways to keep those high-school grads employed locally. “Every industry trains for its own specific needs,” Allamong said. “The intent is to broaden the pool to dip into for employee resource.”
Approximately 58 percent of the roughly 500 high-school seniors who graduate each year go on to college. And of the remaining 42 percent, “we’d like to see more of those kids picked up, trained and put their talents to work right here on the plateau,” Allamong told 1057 News. He said there are a number of options the chamber is looking at, adding TCAT President Cliff Wightman “is very involved in exploring what those options are.”