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NETEDC, local banks initiate new downtown loan program

Photo above: Business owner Jason Gilliland accepts the first check from the new downtown loan program. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Bank of Tennessee, First Tennessee Bank and Mountain Commerce Bank have created a new loan program to assist downtown businesses. Representatives of all three banks were on hand for the presentation of the first loan check to entrepreneurs Jason and Julie Gillil ...

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United Way of Southwest Virginia to host Career Expo, Leaders Breakfast

Photo above: Travis Staton and Brianna Morris Fillers at the offices of the United Way of Southwest Virginia in Abingdon. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Imagine if the United Way decided to be not just a clearinghouse where employers could go to guarantee their charitable contributions would be well-directed, but to also be one of the driving forces in addressing issues like regional workforce ...

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United Way of Bristol initiates “Jobs for Life” program

Photo above: Jobs for Life Director or Training & Leadership Development Shay Bethea teaches Bristol Jobs for Life volunteers about relational poverty. Photo courtesy JFL By Scott Robertson “You hear about giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish,” says Scott Emerine, the chairman of the Jobs for Life steering committee for the United Way of Bristol. “What we’re finding more and more in society n ...

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GO VA Region 1 plan headed to GO Board

Photo Above: Melinda Thayer Leland of Virginia Highlands Community College outlines recommendations during the Aug. 3 stakeholder meetingin Marion.  Photos by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Following a whirlwind August and a Sept. 7 board meeting in Wytheville, GO VA’s Region 1 (GO VA 1) staff is sending the region’s Economic Growth and Diversification Plan to Richmond for review and approval by the sta ...

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Higher Education: Building tomorrow’s workforce today

Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center to offer cybersecurity certifications through ODU By Scott Robertson Institutions like the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center are founded on the concept of partnerships beneficial to the surrounding region. That description fits the creation of the just-announced Cisco Networking and Cybersecurity Academy at the center to a tee. In an environment in which V ...

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Reaping a stronger workforce

Photo above: Kevin Stafford, vice president of Marketing, Food City The fifth in a series of “Operation Tomorrow’s Workforce” articles by the United Way of Southwest Virginia We cannot reap a harvest if we do not plant seeds, nor can we reap a harvest if we plant seeds but fail to care for them as they grow. We’re not talking only about crops, though. The statement also holds true speaking metaphorically ab ...

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All economics is local

By Scott Roberston I’d like to humbly propose a corollary to the old adage that all politics is local. All economics is local. I spoke recently with a Northeast Tennessee county mayor who’d had site selectors in his county looking at an industrial property. They spent more time talking about the regional workforce than anything else. 100,000 square feet of flat land is 100,000 square feet of flat land. But ...

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Northeast State president James King sets to rightsizing the cash-strapped college

Photo above: James King in the Northeast State library. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Northeast State Community College has been long on ambition since the arrival of now-former President Dr. Janice Gilliam in 2009, but has been increasingly short on cash. New satellite campuses have been opened in Bristol and Johnson City yet Northeast State has actually been losing students. Spending, until ...

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HMG, SoFHA CEOs: Independents’ input critical for COPA success

I just think the hospitals are going to need to be affiliative in order to have the services they currently provide be high quality and low cost, rather than trying to sort of be dominant. - Dr. Scott Fowler, CEO, Holston Medical Group If you have the correct organizational structure with transparency and accountability and input from the private health community, you’re going to increase the likelihood tha ...

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