Companies Help Prepare MNPS Students For Workforce
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Local companies are preparing for future workforce demands by investing in students. Many have partnered with Metro Schools and on Wednesday hundreds participated in a career fair for high school freshman.
The Chamber of Commerce estimates that there will be enough jobs available in Nashville once the students enter the workforce. But getting those jobs will require a new set of skills.
"You're going to see some huge advancements in technology as far as zoos are concerned," a representative told a student.
Despite the 6.8 percent unemployment rate in Davidson and surrounding counties, there are jobs available with no one to fill them.
"We're looking for the IT department, individuals to help us in that department," Shoney's CEO David Davoudpour said. "In Nashville we do not have enough IT minded individuals to work with us. We have to bring them from out of state sometimes and we're struggling with that."
Three hundred companies set up booths in the Music City Center. Representatives are trying to make an early impression on Metro's high school freshman.
"I'm asking basically what they do," Hillwood High School Freshman Sabrina To said. "How much (do) they get paid?"
"Go to Shoney's you don't have to be a server," Davoudpour said about the message he wanted to share with students. "You could become a lawyer."
Students like To are learning what it takes to have a successful career.
"I was surprised that some of the jobs here required so much education," she said. "I think I just have to work hard if I want to go after one of those jobs."
It's a mindset that not only benefits her future, but one the future of Nashville depends on.
"We want to be a city that attracts people and attracts investment and creates jobs," Mayor Karl Dean said.
The companies involved also said attending the career fair was their way of giving back. Overall it's meant to get students excited and draw a more tangible connection to how what they're learning in school relates to careers.