Urban League of Middle Tennessee and Nashville State Announce Partnership to Strengthen Workforce Pipeline


Addresses barriers to education and training and creates
a pathway to careers in our community

During a special event at Cathedral of Praise, located on Clarksville Pike, The Urban League of Middle Tennessee and Nashville State Community College announced a partnership to pull resources together to address workforce shortages and upskilling communities in Nashville.

Last year, the Metro Council approved a $7.8 million grant, using funds from the American Rescue Plan, for the Urban League and Nashville State to work together with more than twenty agencies that interact with the workforce to train local residents for high-end industry jobs in healthcare, IT, construction, advanced manufacturing, and hospitality.

“Middle Tennessee has yet to take advantage of our own human capital by training and upskilling people in our own community to fill these workforce gaps,” said Clifton Harris, chief executive officer of The Urban League of Middle Tennessee. “With this program, failure is not an option. It is important that individuals who are willing to put in the work will earn a livable wage. This solves many problems moving forward.”

The initiative entitled “Advancing Workforce Equity” seeks to provide a practical and workable solution to an issue that has long plagued Middle Tennessee, namely not taking advantage of the area’s greatest asset, their human capital.

The grant allows for additional partners to collaborate to strengthen the desired outcomes. Nashville General Hospital (NGH) and The Congregational Health Education Network (CHEN) were two partnering organizations that attended. Cathedral of Praise will serve as one of the locations for classes and training.

Said Dr. Shanna L. Jackson, president of Nashville State Community College, “Nashville State has been identifying and building strategic partnerships to strengthen the talent pipeline in all our communities. This coordinated effort expands upon our mission to connect students, employers, and communities through personalized, high-quality, innovative educational experiences.”

Jackson further remarked, “We are taking the College to the community.”

The stated objective of the program is to employ 1,500 people over the next two years while also addressing the issue of high turnover rates due to issues like lack of childcare and transportation. Participants may be provided a stipend during training, and will be provided with daycare and transportation if necessary. Finally, a case manager will be assigned to each participant and will work with them for one year following their placement to ensure that all participants have the best opportunity to succeed.

“On behalf of our Bishop Jerry Maynard, Sr., myself and the entire Cathedral of Praise family, we welcome you to our home.  We are so very pleased to be an active partner in this Advancing Workforce Initiative as we work collectively with the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, Nashville State Community College, Nashville General Hospital and the dozens of other community partners in addressing the workforce shortages and employment disparities within our region,” commented Misha Maynard, pastor of operations for Cathedral of Praise.

As a partner in the initiative, Cathedral of Praise will serve as one of the locations for classes and training.

For more information, read the report - Advancing Workforce Equity in Nashville: A Blueprint for Action.

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