Workforce summit set in Oak Ridge

On Thursday, July 18 from 7:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the East Tennessee Workforce Summit. The event will be held at Pollard Technology Conference Center at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 210 Badger Avenue.

The one-day summit will feature employers, education providers and policy makers sharing their insights and vision into how technology, automation, and generational trends will change the very nature of work and alter the skills needed in the modern workforce. The gap between workforce needs and workforce supply will be discussed and strategies to bridge the gap will be identified during the full day of panel discussions and speakers.

“The primary purpose of the summit is to give employers, education providers, and policymakers a deeper understanding of the gap between workforce needs and workforce supply and how they can work together to bridge that gap,” said Owen Driskill, Chair of the Chamber’s Advocacy Committee.

According to Sue Kristjansson, President and CEO of Oak Ridge Utility District, “The plan is for this event to kick-off a series of discussions about the future of work and to highlight Oak Ridge and Anderson County’s influence on the state’s economy.”

Jim Vosburg, Director of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education said, “The day will include panel discussions by employers, education providers, and policy makers. The employer panel will discuss how their work has changed, and the skill sets they need. Education providers will speak about what they are doing and what they need to be doing to make sure students are ready for careers.”

The day will begin with Bill Fox, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee outlining the data that reflect the drastic changes affecting the very definition of work in today’s industry.