Bridging the gap from education to employment


BTES CEO Mike Browder welcomes teachers and employers to the March 25 event.

More than 70 teachers from the Bristol Tennessee School System were paired with 21 local industries March 25 to learn the educational requirements for job positions in the community. The all-day event began with a breakfast where Bristol Tennessee Essential Services’ (BTES) CEO Dr. Mike Browder welcomed attendees.

“Teacher Industry Day began 23 years ago as a way to promote economic development and career development in our community,” said Browder. “Each year, we start the day with a brief program for our participating teachers and industries and then each teacher in attendance is paired with an industry in our community. The teacher spends the day with leaders at that organization – touring their facility, discussing career opportunities and, ultimately, learning what skills are needed to work at that company.”

More than 700 teachers have participated in the program over the past 23 years.

“The goal of the day is for the teachers to take what they learn back to their classrooms and help their students become more prepared to enter the workforce in our area,” continued Browder. “We want to give our students the best education possible and this starts with educators understanding what skills are needed in industries right here in our community.”

Participating industries include Animal Medical Clinic, Ballad Health, Bristol Metals, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Bristol Tennessee Fire Department, Bristol Tennessee Police Department, Economy Beauty Supply, Food City, Friendship Auto, HSN, J.A. Street & Associates, Master Model Craft, Mattern & Craig Engineers, Microporous, Pulp, Royal Building Products, Seaman Corporation, Sullivan County Public Defender’s Office, The Robinette Company, Tri-City Extrusion, and United Southeast Federal Credit Union.

BTES and the Tennessee Valley Authority have sponsored the day since its inception.

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