Chattanooga is Calling
Three years ahead of plan, the Chattanooga Chamber surpassed its $1 billion capital investment goal outlined in the 5-year Chattanooga Climbs strategic plan that covers economic development. Key projects included Southern Champion Tray’s $80 million planned investment in Centre South Industrial Park and new locations for Sese Industrial and Confluent Medical Technology.
In collaboration with our partners, we supported the announcement of more than 1,000 jobs. Chattanooga’s existing businesses – including Gestamp, Reliance Partners and Roadtec – played a significant role in helping us reach this number.
$1 BILLION CAPITAL INVESTMENT
20 TARGET INDUSTRY LOCATIONS AND EXPANSION PROJECTS
$55,000 AVERAGE WAGE
During fiscal year 2020-2021, the Chattanooga Chamber facilitated 11 projects resulting in more than $480 million in capital investment and more than 1,600 jobs. Target sector projects contributed 82% of capital investment and 86% of new direct jobs. Three non-sector projects accounted for nearly $87 million in capital investment and more than 200 jobs.
Target Sector Projects
Prior to the pandemic few of us would have predicted an upsurge in successful new start-ups, much less an astonishing 80 percent occupancy for the INCubator, housed within the Hamilton County Business Development Center on Northshore. More than 33 new companies set up shop over the last 24 months, including these sectors:
StartingBlockChattanooga.com for Start-Ups and Money Talks
We invested in more outreach and support for all area startups by launching StartingBlockChattanooga.com, a one-stop-shop for local entrepreneurs and small business owners. In 2021 the site attracted nearly 8,000 entrepreneurs from Chattanooga to communities as far away as Texas and Wyoming. Entrepreneurs and start-ups enjoy StartingBlockChattanooga.com for free, easy access to vital assistance, resources, and information about how to start a business in Chattanooga and why.
While it felt like so much of the world was forced to pause for much of last year, our talent work actually felt like to was super-charged and ever-accelerating. Our team came together to provide resources for our local employers and their employees. Working with community partners, we stood up a robust support system with unemployment resources, remote worker information, and up-to-date job boards in English and Spanish. We convened our large employers weekly, and listened as our community navigated what we learned was our new normal together.
200 Employers Supporting Future Ready Institutes
250 Employers participating in apprenticeship, work-based learning and internship programs.
28 Branded Future Ready Institutes
Funding secured from key partners
New Talent Website: Opening More Doors
Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. 10,000+ jobs. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of some of the best jobs ever.
ChattanoogaCalling.com launched in December 2020 and in 2021 the site grew and outperformed expectations. With nearly 45,000 page views and 16,000 job searches, the site aided both local job-seekers and people looking for the best jobs so they could move to Chattanooga. We were able to evaluate this because at least half of the reach was organic, meaning job-seekers found ChattanoogaCalling.com through search words rather than paid ads.
Public Policy Strengthens Relationships, Shares Timely Info
The Chattanooga Chamber actively lobbied the Tennessee Legislature during the 2021 General Assembly, seeing several key priorities advance. We tracked 216 bills. Priorities like educational attainment, literacy, certificate of need reform for hospitals, criminal justice reform, business liability reform and other laws protecting business in the wake of the pandemic were all signed into law. We also saw $2 million in the budget for the Trades Academy, a key workforce pipeline collaboration between the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, and the private sector.
Find more specific highlights here.
With the 2020 elections and the 2021 City elections being held this fiscal year, the Chattanooga Chamber worked with community partners to be a fair and independent source of information for our members. Specifically, we built a coalition of various community partners to host mayoral candidate forums and a mayoral debate between front-runners Kim White and Tim Kelly. These forums and debate were aired on WTCI
To better help the mayoral front runners and newly elected city councilpersons, the Chattanooga Chamber’s senior leadership team met with the candidates and elected officials individually to take a deeper dive into the relationship between city government and the Chattanooga Chamber.
Public Policy Updates
Local Chamber Coalition
Businesses and More Than