On Tuesday, January 26th, Pryor Manning of Nissan of North America hosted a Technology Workshop for 8th and 9th grade education professionals in Williamson County. Manning began by introducing the speakers and spoke about coding clubs & other tech related programs Nissan is sponsoring in Williamson County Schools.
After Manning’s introduction, Amy Flatt of the Nashville Technology Council spoke about the state of technology here in Middle Tennessee. Currently, there are over 500 open positions in tech. To begin filling these open positions, we are working to create career pathways in order to help local students & other individuals develop the skills they need to access these jobs. Teachers and Counselors can be a vital part of this pipeline because of their ability to share camps offered through the NTC, user groups, & hacking events with their students. They can also introduce students to a variety of technologies to capture their student’s imaginations. Encounters with micro controllers, coding, quadcopters and other high-interest tech experiences can translate into an affinity for tech & act as great resources for leading students into these careers.
Rob Bellenfant, CEO of TechnologyAdvice & graduate of Williamson County Schools, spoke about a personal experience in Middle School when he ran into trouble for running his web development business out of the school library. Instead of punishing him, the Principal found him a space to continue building his business and skill set, creating an environment that gave him space to succeed. Encouraging a culture that supports kids in pursuing their interests can mean the world of difference for our students and even our local economy.
Finally, Matt Largen, the President and CEO of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, focused on the impact of Williamson County, the influx of tech companies and how important it is to provide resources for students. Technology and skilled employees are both eminent factors in drawing companies to our area. When teachers are involved in creating pathways for students, their influence can have a great impact on the economy of Williamson County.
It was a privilege to be involved with so many technology thought leaders in bringing information to teachers in Williamson County Schools. The NTC and I look forward to partnering on other initiatives to help create awareness about Tennessee Promise and creating careers pathways for tech for students in Williamson and surrounding counties.