On Thursday, August 23, business leaders, education advocates, and policymakers from across the state came together to explore how technology innovations are impacting workforce needs, and highlighted the need for the education system to keep pace with the training and skill development required for the future economy.

In partnership with America Succeeds, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and a variety of local partners, TennesseeCAN brought the Age of Agility Summit to Memphis.

Advancements in technology, automation and artificial intelligence have caused shifts in the workforce, which consequently require a drastic change in how we prepare and educate future leaders. Technologists, futurists, and others who study the issue refer to this fundamental shift as the next Industrial Revolution. Tennessee business leaders are calling it the Age of Agility, based on a report by America Succeeds entitled Age of Agility: Education Pathways for the Future of Work.

Children attend school to learn, grow and prepare for the real world, but the way the world operates continues to change at a rapid pace. It’s critical that these technological advancements are matched by changes in education to ensure students are prepared for the evolving careers that lie ahead, the report contends.

TennesseeCAN empowers local stakeholders to advocate for improved K-12 policies that put Tennessee children first. Their work is focused on ensuring students have access to high-quality schools, teachers and resources that prioritize their unique educational needs.

“There is great work and progress happening in Tennessee to build and better prepare our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. We are excited to engage leading voices from across the state to discuss how we can begin preparing our K-12 students for a successful path after high school. ” says Victor Evans, Deputy Director of TennesseeCAN.

Speakers for Thursday’s Summit included Bradley Jackson, President the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Candice McQueen, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, Mike Krause, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Dr. David Rudd, President of the University of Memphis, as well as a variety of business leaders.

Organizers developed solutions by engaging stakeholders who are willing to speak candidly about the problems, think creatively about potential solutions, and help elevate the conversation to make sure Tennessee does not get left behind in the globally competitive economy.

“Technology is so much more advanced than it used to be, and that needs to be reflected in the classroom,” said Tim Taylor, President and Co-Founder of America Succeeds.  “It’s critical that we recognize the innovation needed in education. It’s thanks to organizations on the ground level, like TennesseeCAN, that opportunities can be created for kids of all backgrounds and learning levels.”


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