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& Literacy Initiatives

Workforce & Literacy Initiatives encompasses a wide variety of programs, grants, and projects that support k-12, post-secondary and business and industry throughout the region.

CareerQuest Tennessee

Career exploration is key to a student’s education and future career plans.  The FTDD leads three unique events designed for various ages of students to explore careers in various sectors.


CareerQuest TN features careers in advanced manufacturing, construction, health care, and information technology.  Each year approximately 4,500 8th-12th graders from across the region participate in an interactive, highly engaging event with practitioners, and human resources professionals from more than 80 companies along with post-secondary partners each sharing career pathways.  Culinary students from multiple high schools showcase their skills in a VIP event designed in conjunction with this event.   CareerQuest TN is typically held on the campus of ETSU.

CareerQuest TN…It’s All About Business focuses on accounting/auditing, banking/financial planning, human resources, and marketing careers in an event designed for high school juniors and seniors.  Students spend time with business owners and executives to learn about careers available in our region.  Each student attends a “dress for success” fashion show and participates in a personal mock interview with an HR professional.  Students also have an opportunity to participate in Business Battle, an entrepreneurship contest with cash prize seed money for their business or post-secondary career.  This event is typically held on the campus of Northeast State Community College.


CareerQuest TN…Hospitality Works is a new event that will feature careers focusing on accommodations, food & beverage, leadership/marketing, and outdoors.  This event, planned to be held at the Meadowview Convention Center, will be highly engaging and interactive.

ACT Workready Community

Work Ready Community designation provides economic development professionals with a competitive advantage when promoting the region as only around 4% of counties in the nation have earned this distinction.  Site Selector Magazine has begun using the number of National Career Readiness Certificates achieved as one component for determining where to  locate new businesses. All eight counties have joined in pursuit of this official designation.

Education to Employment (E2E) Summit

Each year, the FTDD partners with area chambers of commerce and economic development organizations to host a regional gathering of k-12 and postsecondary leaders, business and industry leaders, elected officials and community leaders to discuss common issues across education and workforce.  Area high school students participate in a gallery walk which showcases career technical programs in the high schools. High School culinary programs provide meals for the event allowing students a chance to showcase their skills and put their classroom training into practice.   Outcomes from the event include new partnerships and replication of best practices from around the region.

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