Tuesday, December 20, 2016

UNITED FIBER CAMPAIGN GIVES RESIDENTS THE POWER TO SPEED FIBER DEPLOYMENT ACROSS MIDDLE TENNESSEE SERVICE AREA

United Communications is excited to announce the launch of a new interactive fiber campaign and website aimed at giving customers the ability to help determine when and where United will deploy fiber-to-the-home services in the future.  To date, United has invested more than $90 million in their Middle Tennessee network and deployed fiber services to more than 5,000 locations across their Middle Tennessee service area.  As a result, they can deliver high-speed Internet with speeds up to 1 GIGABIT (1,000 mbps), digital TV and crystal -clear phone services to residents across their mainly rural Middle Tennessee service area.  
The ultimate goal of United's UniFi campaign is to identify the broadband needs of residents and businesses across the mid-state.  The new United UniFi campaign website gives residents and businesses the power to pre-register to express interest in United fiber service.  All that is required to register is a name, address, and product or service selection.  The site provides customers with an interactive map broken down into 3 distinct zones: existing fiber service locations, pre-engineered fiber areas that will require an established customer backer goal to begin fiber-to-the-home construction, and general areas of fiber interest under review for future fiber deployment. Once a customer is registered as a "UniFi backer" they have the ability to easily share the information with friends and neighbors who may be interested in signing up for United fiber services.  
"We are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish in order to bring fiber Internet and faster speeds to customers over the last few years, and we believe this new UniFi fiber campaign is going to be a game changer for future fiber deployment in our service area, said United Communications President and CEO, William Bradford.  "As a company who is literally in the trenches of broadband deployment, we know there is an extremely high demand for bandwidth across the state and we realize the need for broadband is only going to continue to grow.  The next critical step to expanding broadband, is to give customers the power to express interest in new services and faster speeds, and then meet that demand head on. Simultaneously, while the company pushes fiber service deployment across the area, we will also continue to focus our efforts making faster Internet speeds an option where fiber service is not currently available today." 
To learn more about United Communications UniFi campaign or to become a UniFi backer, please visit https://fiber.united.net. You can also follow United Communications on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date on fiber construction updates and information about United products and services.

Friday, December 9, 2016

TN Chamber launches program where employers can help employees further their education


State Chamber partners with GED Works as part of Workforce Development Initiative
NASHVILLE – Thanks to a program announced today by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Tennessee employers can now make it easier for workers to pursue their education. The new TN Chamber/GED Works™ program aims to create a better-educated and prepared Tennessee workforce as part of the Chamber’s Workforce Development Initiative. Data shows that over three hundred thousand Tennesseans are currently employed in the workforce and did not complete their high school education.
Launched nationally last year, GED Works helps adult learners attain their GED® credentials with the support of their employers. Just as importantly, it gives these employees momentum to pursue advanced education and training. The Tennessee Chamber is partnering with GED Testing Services to offer employers access to the program.
The TN Chamber/GED Works program includes everything an employee needs to prepare for and pass the GED. Participants are provided access to all the traditional benefits of the GED program, as well as online study material, connections to local adult education programs, and practice tests. The new program connects each participant with a GED Advisor specially trained to guide, engage, and motivate students – a successful model used by the TN Promise Mentors program at state community colleges.
 “An educated workforce is a top priority for the Tennessee Chamber and critical for us to address in order to continue to attract business to Tennessee,” said Bradley Jackson, President and CEO of the Tennessee Chamber. “High school credentialing is the most basic building block of a sound education, and that is why we are so excited about bringing GED Works to Tennessee.
“Our members know that having a properly-educated, well-trained workforce is key to their own success, just as it helps us recruit new employers. We are encouraging members to take advantage of TN Chamber/GED Works as part of our goal to help more adults earn high school credentialing.”
The Tennessee-tailored initiative represents the first state-level, business-endorsed promotion of the GED Works program, which currently serves some of the nation's largest employers and most recognizable brands – including Walmart, KFC, Taco Bell and Southeastern Grocers.
"Employers are attracted to GED Works because, unlike other employment-related costs, each dollar invested in an employee's education increases the competitiveness and value of their workforce," said Randy Trask, President of GED Testing Service. “Employers embrace GED Works because it enables employees to improve their career prospects, increase their earning potential, and hopefully find inspiration to continue their education and training."

The Tennessee Chamber was particularly attracted by the recent transformation of the GED program establishing  a pathway for postsecondary education. The newly-redesigned GED credential now includes a college ready score indicator endorsed by the American Council on Education, which allows colleges to place qualifying students in college-level courses – saving students time and money. In addition, the program provides graduates with resources and motivation to continue their education by connecting them with college and career pathway tools on GED.com, as well as postsecondary programs and scholarships offered by their employers.
Key Facts and Data About GED Works
·         Two of the top 10 companies listed on the Forbes Fortune 500 rankings for largest corporations participate in the GED Works program: #1 Walmart and #8 Yum Brands (Taco Bell and KFC).
·         Southeastern Grocers has enlisted in the program as well – ranked by Forbes as the 26th largest private employer in the U.S.
·         GEDTS expects to announce up to four more major employers by the end of year.
·         More than 1,500 employees are currently enrolled in and working at various stages of the program, which typically requires 4-6 months to complete.
·         To date, 300 employees have successfully completed the program.
·         More than 6,000 employees have indicated interest in the program. 
What Are Employers Participating in GED Works Saying?
"Restaurant operators love that the GEDWorks and other Foundation programs help them recruit and retain high-quality employees who are interested in working hard to improve themselves. The KFC Foundation is proud to be able to support them and continue Colonel Sanders' legacy of helping people be their best selves through education.”
-- Krista Snider, Managing Director of the KFC Foundation.
About Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Founded in 1912, The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry is one of Tennessee’s oldest and most prominent business trade associations. Also serving as the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, the Tennessee Chamber works with local chambers of commerce across the state to advocate for a pro-business climate.  
About GED Testing Service
The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 20 million graduates since 1942. The GED test is accepted by virtually all of U.S. colleges and employers. As the creator of the one official GED test, GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma. GED Testing Service is a joint venture between the American Council on Education and Pearson.
About the GED Program
The goal of the new GED program that launched in January 2014 is to prepare adult learners for today's jobs and for entry into career and college training programs. The new GED test has two performance levels – one that is used to certify high school equivalency and another optional level that indicates readiness for college-level coursework
For more information visit the GEDWorks Media Kit web page, which includes: GEDWorks Press Release in English and Spanish, GEDWorks Infographic, Soundcloud Audio Clip, First GEDWorks Graduate Video, GEDWorks Student Profiles/Stories, Link to the GEDWorks Website.
* * *
Bradley Jackson, President & CEO
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Tennessee Manufacturers Association
414 Union Street, Suite 107 Nashville, TN 37219
(Ph615-256-5141 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lewisburg Officially Names Calsonic Kansei Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park

Lewisburg Mayor welcomes Special Guests Calonic Kansei SVP Mike Layne, COO Eric Huch, Chairman Hideaki Watanabe, SVP Matt Mulliniks along with City Councilmen Steve Thomas and Artie Allen and City Manager Randall Dunn with the MCHS Chorus to the official naming of the Calsonic Kansei Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park. 
The City of Lewisburg official named the amphitheater of Rock Creek Park in honor of Calsonic Kansei and the company's contribution to the park improvements over the past year.
Calsonic Kansei not only serves as Marshall County's largest industrial employer, but  it is also a leader in community development partnerships with the City of Lewisburg. The company, which manufacturers dashboards and electronics in Lewisburg for the automotive industry, recently worked with the City of Lewisburg in planning and funding for several improvements to Rock Creek Park. The funding help provide underground utilities, new street lighting and the creation of the amphitheater in the park.
On Thursday morning, Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham welcomed special guests, Calsonic Kansei Chairman Hideaki Watanabe from Japan along with COO Eric Huch, SVP Mike Layne and SVP Matt Mulliniks to a ceremony to name the amphitheater - the Calsonic Kansei Amphitheater.
"We could not be more grateful to Calsonic Kansei for the funding and support that will provide a beautiful park area for the citizens of Lewisburg to enjoy for generations to come," said Mayor Bingham.
As a special treat, Elise Dumser and the MCHS Chorus performed a medley of 60s hits for the company and community dignitaries as a demonstration of what enjoying a show in the amphitheater will be for so many people from Lewisburg and Marshall County, as well as many visitors to the community and its events.
The MCHS Chorus performs a medley of 60s hits for Calsonic Kansei and community leaders 



















Calsonic Kansei Amphitheater naming ceremony - The MCHS Chorus shares a photo with the dignitaries from Calsonic Kansei and the City of Lewisburg. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lewisburg Site Receives Select TN Site Certification

Christos Industrial Site in Lewisburg Industrial Park Select TN Certified Site
44 sites have now been certified through the program
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development today announced five new Select Tennessee Certified Sites.
The Select Tennessee program was launched in 2012 to help Tennessee communities prepare available industrial sites for investment and expansion. The program sets rigorous standards to give companies reliable information when making location choices during the site selection process. To date, 44 sites have been certified. The five newest sites and their local sponsoring agencies are:
“While we can pitch companies on the advantages of Tennessee’s ready workforce, business-friendly climate and strong fiscal health, many times the make-or-break during economic development searches is a simple question: Do you have a readily available site?” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “The Select Tennessee Certified Sites program helps our communities get a tangible product to put before companies looking to expand or relocate. These sites are vigorously vetted, so businesses know that their projects can proceed in a timely fashion with less risk. I congratulate the communities investing in their local assets and securing these newest certified sites.” 
The Select Tennessee program has certified forty-four sites in 34 counties. Eight certified sites have landed projects, which have together combined for nearly $979 million in private sector investment and more than 3,600 jobs committed.
The program acknowledges that companies seeking to expand or relocate their operations often eliminate less-prepared sites. Select Tennessee certification addresses this issue by ensuring sites meet high-quality standards. Among the qualifications needed for certification, industrial sites must have at least 20 acres of developable land, proper zoning to allow for ease of development, existing utilities onsite or a formal plan to extend to the site and truck-quality road access.
The hallmark of the Select Tennessee program is ensuring that Tennessee sites are primed for development, whether through marketing those ready for a prospect or providing guidance for uncertified sites to achieve a higher level of preparedness.
“The Select Tennessee Certified Sites program gives our local communities, especially ones in rural Tennessee, an advantage when competing with other states for economic development projects,” TNECD Assistant Commissioner of Rural Development Amy New said. “The communities with certified sites have invested in themselves and will be ahead of the game in recruiting new businesses and jobs.” 
“This certification isn’t a rubber stamp. Our communities go through a lengthy process to get certification,” TNECD Site Development Director Leanne Cox said. “Companies scouting a new location for their operations can feel confident that these new certified sites have been thoroughly vetted by economic development professionals and have the strong support of local community partners.”
TNECD has partnered with Austin Consulting to administer the program. 
“The Select Tennessee Certification Program continues to forge ahead and certify premier properties located in quality communities since 2012,” Frank Spano, managing director of Austin Consulting, said. “The Program will enter its fifth year in 2017 and continues to showcase the strengths of a very diverse state and all it has to offer to the industrial sector for both domestic and international companies considering a new location.”
Communities interested in participating in the program must begin the formal application process by sending their letter of intent to Select.Tennessee@tn.gov. More information about the program can be found at http://www.tnecd.com/sites/certified-sites/apply-now/.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community DevelopmentThe Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Tennessee is the only three-time winner of “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. Find us on the web: TNECD.com. Follow us on Twitter: @TNECD. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/TNECD.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

UNITED CONTINUES FIBER EXPANSION IN MARSHALL COUNTYWITH GIGABIT INTERNET DEPLOYMENT TO THE CHAPEL HILL TOWN HALL AND BUSINESS DISTRICT

United Communications recently expanded its fiber network by delivering Gigabit Internet to the Chapel Hill Town Hall Administrative Complex and several additional customers located along the Chapel Hill business district.  The company has also partnered with the Town of Chapel Hill and the Marshall County Joint Economic and Community Development Board (JECDB) to ensure that any businesses planning to relocate to the area will have access to high-speed broadband services.

President and CEO of United Communications, William Bradford indicated, “We are committed to giving our region the best possible communication services.  When this company was formed in the mid-1950’s that meant quality telephone services where no other provider would serve. Today it means delivering advanced communication services and Internet capabilities unsurpassed by any other provider in the area – regardless of size or location.”

Mr. Bradford continued, “Fiber technology is the new gold standard for how people use digital communications services, and this technology will help fuel economic development as well as give our customers unparalleled service offerings. Fiber service will not only provide the capacity to handle current communication technologies, it will meet the increasing demands of the next generation of broadband innovations.”   United Communications is one of the first service providers in Middle Tennessee to offer this level of speed to customers.  “We believe expanding broadband is a great equalizing force for boosting rural economies. Today you don't have to live off a major highway or in a big city to find a good job, start a new business, or get a quality education, but you do need a high-speed Internet connection,” said Bradford.

Chapel Hill Town Administrator, Mark Graves, stated he “strongly supports the effort to expand rural high-speed Internet access and is excited about the potential growth opportunities this technology will bring to the Town of Chapel Hill.  Access to broadband has become one of the driving forces in economic development, and I am thrilled to be one of the few rural Tennessee communities to have access to this type of technology”.

This sentiment was reiterated by Chapel Hill Mayor, Danny R. Bingham, “I would like to commend United Communications for their vision and investment in our community.  This new service will provide a strong foundation for technological and economic growth in our area. It also offers our community the ability to run a business and enjoy an exceptional quality of life in today's technological world.”

Plans are already underway to further expand United’s fiber network so the company can bring Gigabit Internet service to other areas and communities within its service area.  Customers can determine if their home or business has access to United Communications’ fiber network by visiting www.united.net.