Mayor Luttrell’s Young Professionals Council hosted a recent summit to unite young professionals in the city surrounding topics like city planning, education and regional job growth. Summit speakers Tom Jones of Smart City Consulting, Lesley Brown of Teacher Town and Austin Baker of HRO Consulting brought their professional perspectives on both the challenges and assets of these issues in Memphis.
Memphis's success is driven by our increasing number of college-educated citizens, ongoing improvements in education and affordability. “Memphis is a place where you can still afford the American Dream as well as make a difference and be heard,” said Baker.
“There’s a lot we can teach the country if we come together to do it,” said Jones. “Memphis proving it can succeed is a lesson for the rest of the country. Memphis is worth fighting for.”
However, among our city's challenges is a talent gap. “Last year 18,000 jobs went unfilled in Memphis. There’s talent mismatches that we need to bridge,” said Baker.
The technology industry in Memphis is a victim of that skills gap. According to Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), the number of jobs in the Memphis information sector has fallen at a higher rate than the national average over the past 15 years.
Tech901 exists to bridge the city’s information job gap and contribute to this city’s progress through regional job training. Tech901 equips community members with 21st century job skills training in computer hardware, networking and security.
“There is a current skills gap between Memphis employer industry demands and the talent pipeline,” said Robert Montague, Executive Director of Tech901. “However, when Memphis companies and training arms collaborate to openly discuss their needs, we can make significant progress in building the talent bridge from where we are to where we need to be.”