February 22, 2021

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In this week’s episode, Chris chats with Beth Duffield,  Senior Vice President of Workforce Development at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. Beth is responsible for creating and leading the strategic vision for growing a world class workforce for the diverse economy of Rutherford County.  In this role, she has developed uncommon industry and education partnerships resulting in the establishment of five industry led sector councils to support the STEM centered workforce initiatives going on across the county in both K-12 and higher education.  The industries represented include construction, IT, health care, manufacturing and supply chain management councils.

Additionally, Beth and her team have developed a number of K-12 programs to support career exploration, work-based learning and employer engagement.

She calls herself a professional dot connector and wakes up every morning, working hyper focused on helping employers solve talent recruitment challenges and helping students of all ages make smart choices to help them find a job they will love and help them prosper economically.

Beth and her husband, Dan, live in Murfreesboro and are the proud parents of two Ole Miss Rebels.

LinkedIn
Twitter:  @BethDuffieldTN
rutherfordworks.com
rutherfordchamber.org

TRANSCRIPT

Chris:
Hello and welcome to the Talent Tide Podcast – the show that ensures you have the information you need to adapt and evolve your workplace culture as you ride the wave of change in talent management. I’m your host, Chris Nichols. And today we’re going to talk how communities can work together with industry to build their workforce with Beth Duffield, Senior Vice President of Workforce Development at Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and Rutherford Works. Beth Duffield joined the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce in 2013 as the Senior Vice President of Workforce Development, where she was responsible for creating and leading the strategic vision for growing a world class workforce for the diverse economy of Rutherford County. In this role, she has developed uncommon industry and education partnerships resulting in the establishment of five industry led sector councils to support the stem centered workforce initiatives going on across the county in both K through 12 and higher education. The industries represented include construction, IT, healthcare, manufacturing, and supply chain. Additionally, Beth and her team have developed a number of K through 12 programs to support career exploration, work-based learning, and employee engagement. She calls herself a professional “dot connector” and wakes up every morning hyper-focused on helping employers solve talent recruitment challenges, and helping students of all ages make smart choices to help them find the job they will love and help them prosper economically. Beth and her husband Dan live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and are the proud parents of two Ole Miss Rebels. Welcome, Beth, thank you for being on the show.

Beth:
Thanks for having me, Chris.

Chris:
No problem. I’m actually really excited about this, because you and I met, I guess I don’t know, four or five years ago. And it was shortly after these industry councils got started. And you allowed me to be a part of that. Because I think that you saw what my passion was. And they align very similarly to yours about helping companies do things better and differently, right. And I say that being on the third-party recruitment side, which we often have kind of a negative connotation around what we do. But at the end of the day, I think we connected because you felt like it’s not just about getting new business for himself. It’s about actually moving the industry forward. And because we’re both here in Rutherford County, we’ve actually been able to be part of one of the fastest growing communities in the entire nation. Right. And I don’t know what our rating is this year. But I know that U-Haul said that more, more U-Hauls came to Tennessee in 2020 than anywhere else and Rutherford County happens to be you know, where the bulk of that occurs. We’re just outside Nashville, which I think many people throughout the country see and have heard that it is a rapidly growing market. So, can you talk about what – you’ve been in this role for almost a decade now. And Nashville has changed rapidly in that time period, Rutherford County has changed rapidly. I can’t imagine our population probably was, you know, a third to 25%, less somewhere in that range a decade ago. So, what is it been like to be in your role since 2013 here?

Beth:
Well, first of all, I love living and working in Rutherford County, we’ve got the proximity to Nashville and Davidson County. So obviously, location, location, location. And that’s – really my position was created because of the growth in this area. So economic development has been a part of the Rutherford County Chamber for several decades. And workforce development was added in 2013 because our investors who found our work – we have a public private partnership that helps support our economic development efforts – even coming out of the Great Recession, they were saying, “You know, y’all are doing a great job of bringing companies and built growing jobs here in Rutherford County. We just really need help in filling those jobs.” And so, my position was created, and I was brought on board to create a strategic plan and make our community a best practice where others want to come and learn about what we’re doing to grow that talent. And it’s been a really great ride. We have most years added 2400 to 3000 jobs each year, and even last year, and the crazy year that was 2020, we added 1600 new jobs. We had three companies announced expansions in addition to a number of companies relocate here. So, it – we are typically the fastest growing county on all of the metric charts that you see. And actually, our school district, which is near and dear to my heart, is the fourth largest school district and state, which is, and we’re not one of the largest cities in the state. So, we’re rapidly growing. There’s an article in the newspaper today that Rutherford County is expecting probably 2000 more students next year just because of all the growth of people moving to this area.

Chris:
Yeah,  it’s really fascinating to see. Because if you don’t visit Murfreesboro for say, I don’t know, even three months, my family, they come back and they’re like, “Wait, that wasn’t there before.” Right. And so, it’s unique and interesting. But it also presents its own challenges as well. And… but it is unique in our country to have a situation where we do have a market that’s growing so fast. But what do you think makes… how does this all work here? Like, how did we get to the point that we could have somebody or a group work cross functionally, I guess you could say… Like, how do you think all that was triggered? And why?

Beth:
Well, so I think for me, I see it almost as a perfect storm. So, when I started in this role, there’s so many different ways that you can slice and dice workforce development, it can be talent recruitment. The National Chamber does a great job of that. They’ve had a tech talent, recruitment focus for a number of years, looking at pulling in talent from across the country, you can focus on training with our higher education partners. Really what I started focusing on was the long-term discussion. So how do we help our future workers understand what opportunities are available to them with a heavy focus on career exploration. And at the same time, we had employers that were coming to the chamber so members and as well as other community partners, saying, “We can’t find people in X, can you help us develop a plan to attract more people to careers in healthcare, careers in construction…”  We were actually a part of a study that was conducted by the Department of Education. Tennessee was one of the first communities or first states in the country to join the Pathways to Prosperity out of the Jobs for the Future nonprofit based in Boston. And it’s a partnership with Harvard University’s College of Education. And they came in and did a study just of Rutherford County. So typically, because we’re part of the metro area, our workforce and labor statistics are included in the Nashville Chamber’s Workforce Study about every five years. But that’s a 12 county area that’s incredibly diverse. So, we were able to have a study done just of Rutherford County, and it helped us identify what our five growth sectors were for the next five years. So, this was 2015. So, looking at 2020, and those included construction, healthcare, IT, manufacturing and supply chain. And curiously, when you slice the data, construction was on kind of a go or no-go line in terms of should we include them as an opportunity for students to consider careers. But almost simultaneously, we had Turner Construction, Roscoe Brown (who’s a large Heating and Air component company here in Rutherford County), S&W Contracting – which is a large, commercial electrical company, come to us and say, “We need help finding talent.” So when I realized we had employers that were willing to step up to the table and be a part of the solution, and we have the data to support that, then I said “Absolutely, let’s include construction in that conversation.” So, it was a combination of data that gave us the information we needed to move forward with. And at the same time having employers that said, “We want to help move that needle forward.”

Chris:
Absolutely. And each of those industries really offers, especially four of the five I don’t know if it maybe fits quite as perfectly, but the other four all have an interesting group of say nonskilled but non four-year… They don’t have to go to a four-year degree, right, in order to work in those industries. And especially like you think about construction and manufacturing. Those are industries construction a here because we have such massive growth happening, right it important that they have top talent or talent that even knows how to hold a hammer, right? I mean, we’re in the suburbs here, right? I grew up in the country. I know what physical work look like growing it because my family did, but if I hear there’s a good chance that you know, kids growing up here don’t really understand or know what a tape measure how to look at a tape measure, right? Absolutely. And those are the types of skills that you may take for granted. As an employer, right, because you realize, oh my gosh, like what are we teaching these kids, right? Like the old, the old guy, you know, barking at people to get off his lawn type conversation. And what we have to understand is that there’s only really two places that people are getting information as they grew up. It’s at home and at school. Right. And I’ll be honest, I rely on my dad, if I have a question about doing something around the house. So, you know, I would love if my girls could learn some skills at school that maybe or help them be more diverse, when it comes to like, their skill enablement. But what are you doing with our school system here as part of the partnership? Can you tell our listeners any more about what that looks like? And how industry plays such a significant role in that?

Beth:
Absolutely. So, we have started and completed, let me start over…. So, over the last eight years, we have implemented a number of programs that really focus on career experience in the elementary grades, career exploration and middle school and career experience in high school. So we, we’ve got to get out of this idea that all of a sudden magically, in 11th to 12th grade students figure out TA DA “I know what I want to do when I graduate from high school”, it just doesn’t happen. But well, maybe there’s a few that are very driven, they have a very focused direction for their lives. But for the most part, we don’t as a society, give kids the tools to help them really understand what all the opportunities are out there. So, we’ve tried to identify needs that our schools have in these areas and develop programs to support that. Not try to replicate what’s already being done by another nonprofit, or things that are going on in the schools. And one of two things that I’m incredibly proud of that we have set up: one was a high school internship program. So, you talked about kids not knowing how to use a hammer. Most kids today do not work while they’re in high school, the labor participation rate among 16 to 21-year olds is very, very low in our country, since that number of students who have worked while they’re in school has declined significantly, since the Great Depression. The Great Recession of 2008 really put a stop to it because as we were coming out of that, as a country, we saw a lot of adults taking jobs that teenagers would traditionally have held just because they needed a job. And so that forced teenagers out of the market. And that’s just kind of been perpetuated. And I know my children who are now in college, they were very active in sports, and theater and had all kinds of extracurricular activities going on. So, they didn’t have time to work. Although we did find ways to help them obtain employment during summer breaks, at least, because I know how valuable that is. If we don’t teach kids how to work before they graduate from high school or graduate from college, they’re not just magically going to know how to do it. You said, you know, most students learn or most of our kids learn from home or in school. And yes, there are some, you know, really good work ethics that can be taught in school in terms of attendance and tardies and those kinds of things. But just the basics of showing up, how to communicate, all the soft skills that our employers talk about. Those are not learned by osmosis.

So, the internship program was a month-long program in June, where we connected up to 50 students with employers around our county including our municipalities, our major manufacturers. We had students working at Stonecrest Medical Center in Smyrna and Murfreesboro Medical Clinic here in Murfreesboro. Typically, environments that are not always open to high school students. But we had visionary leaders, business partners who said, we can make this work because we understand it’s so important if we want to recruit talent into our industry in the future. We’ve got to be a part of that solution. And then piggyback that with a teacher externship, which endevis has been a great partner with us for two years. Last year, it kind of got shut down because of COVID. But we’re very excited because we think we’re going to be able to stand that up again this summer. But the idea of taking middle school cohorts of educators, so a counselor, a subject teacher, such as English or math, possibly a stem teacher, and hopefully an administrator, put those folks in a team. They apply for one of the externship spots that our employers provide.

And so, the last one we ran in summer of 2019, we had Turner Construction, Stonecrest Medical Center, Ingram Content, Nissan Manufacturing and Calsonic Morelli (another manufacturer) all participate. The chamber through our resources, were able to pay the stipend for the teachers and endevis served as our third party or our employer of record for that program. And those educators spent two weeks working side by side, with HR professionals, with maintenance professionals, with nurses, doctors at the hospital. They scrubbed into surgeries and got to watch that. They sat at the boardroom table during an executive board meeting. And it really opened their eyes to the breadth of jobs that exist within an organization. So, one of the great stories out of our first year, was the group from Oakland Middle that came back and said, “We had no idea there were 36 different job characteristics or job categories. We didn’t know that at a hospital, there were 36 job categories that we can tell our students about. You don’t have to be a doctor or a nurse to be in the healthcare industry.” So, but you also have to have industry partners who are willing to break a few rules, bend a few rules, to step outside the box to say, “This is important. And we’re going to make it work.” So, while it didn’t cost the employers anything from a financial bottom line/write a check standpoint, they had to commit resources, human resources, to support those educators with mentors, and then content providers to really help them understand and get the real flavor of what careers in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, supply chain really look like.

Chris:
And I think that is the coolest thing that I have seen, at least being a part of the organization here locally, is that, to hear those teachers after they go… (because one of the cool things about it for our listeners) is the teachers go and they come back and they do a presentation, right. And they talk about what they’ve learned. And there’s a group of, I don’t know, 20 to 35 of them, because I think there’s five or six that go to each of the five companies, right. And so, each kind of subset presents on what they learned about being in industry. And that’s one of my favorite things that I remember listening to as well, like, I can still remember like it was yesterday. And because you mentioned like, it’s crazy. I didn’t know there were so many jobs in healthcare. But I think also, you know, going to Nissan, you know, a major automobile manufacturer and seeing how it works, right? Because so many, so many kids grow up and I mean, shoot, my wife doesn’t even know what I do most of the time. She’ll be like, she’ll text me “someone’s asking me what you do. Can you explain it to me again?” And I’ll be like, “Okay, hold on.” But so, it you know, kids are even more distanced from that, right? Because they just don’t have any clue. They see professions like the service industry. So, like food, and all they really see at that point is like, what it looks like at the end user, right? They don’t know about supply chain that goes above that, and how food gets to the McDonald’s that’s located down the street from them. And they don’t see that at the hospital, there’s people working behind the scenes to make sure that insurance is getting covered and taken care of, right? They don’t they don’t know how all of that works. They don’t …they’re basically invisible to kids. And so, they go to college, and they’re given major opportunities. So, it’s like, “Well, I’m going to go major in business management.” Okay, what are you going to do with that? Right, right. And I was a management major, but it was more so because I didn’t know what else… I just wanted to make sure that I had, I wanted to work in business. Right. And it’s so important that kids get the opportunity to see like all the inner workings of a business. And I do want to focus on companies a little bit and how that relationship works, because I believe they’re probably the driver in all of this, they need to be in the driver’s seat…

Beth:
They have to be in the driver’s seat.

Chris:
Right. And we’re lucky here because we have a lot of really good organizations. Everybody’s working together and pulling their weight and doing these things in a group, but the US is a very diverse country. There’s a lot of rural areas out there. There’s a lot –  even close to us, 30 minutes away, it gets rural. And, how can companies (publicly traded or not) because you talk about like the Nissan’s of the world but there’s companies that we work with here in Rutherford County that don’t have, maybe as many hoops to jump through less red tape, etc. So, if Nissan can do it, you can do it right, depending on your size. And so, what would be the first step if I’m the HR manager, I’m the plant manager in a manufacturing facility or I’m the hospital CEO of my local hospital, like –  how do they all work together to build something and take it to the community level? What are your thoughts around that?

Beth:
It just takes one person; it takes someone that’s passionate about what we’ve been talking about. And I’ll use an example. Greg Mertz. He was the plant manager at Chemour’s out in Humphreys County. So, when you think rural, it doesn’t get any more rural in Tennessee than Humphreys County, right on the Tennessee River. And so, they had a challenge with finding chemical operators. And Nashville State actually has a campus, small campus, in that community. But they were running into this issue where Chemours really needed (and there are other chemical operators in the area as well), they needed students coming out not just with the degree, but also the experience. And Greg is passionate about education. And so, he said, “We’ve got to figure out how to crack this nut.” So, he took it upon himself to go meet with the leaders at the campus director at Nashville State and say, “What can we do to make this work?” I think the biggest challenge of working with bringing education and industry together is they just speak different languages. They both have -they’re both outcomes driven. Colleges, community colleges, technical colleges in Tennessee – they’re funded based on completion rates. So, they’re just -they’re producing a product. So how do they help produce that product better, faster, better equipped to serve the needs of our community. And employers putting their product to market, they need employees that are going to help make that happen. So, they’ve got mutual goals, but helping get through the translation of languages has often been the challenge. And so sometimes both sides just get frustrated and give up. So finding an industry champion, finding someone in your community who’s really passionate about this. Greg and the campus director sat down, and the campus director said, “Okay, we’re going to give a little, we’re going to figure out how to alter the schedule, so that students can actually go to work while they’re still in college.” And Greg said, “Okay, I’ll bring employers to the table. And we’ll hire those students to work part time for us while they’re going to school.”

So they created basically an apprenticeship program that wasn’t documented at the time. I think it has been documented now, where they would go to class three days a week, and they would come to Chemours or the manufacturer, two days a week. So, by the time they completed their associate’s degree, which did take a little bit longer, because they were not in class every day. But it was a dedicated program, they were then able to go right to work for these employers, because they had the required two years, and they had their associate’s degree. So, I think it’s just having the patience and the willingness to sit down and find a mutually beneficial solution. But you do need –  and again, that was in Humphreys County, a very small community, where finding the right people to put the puzzle together is really what it takes.

Chris:
Yes, I love the point that you made about that. Industry and education speaking different languages. And you get to kind of act as a liaison here in Rutherford County, to work between those challenges. And  in rural areas or, you know, in any community, maybe that doesn’t have your role even, because there’s lots of medium sized to larger communities that probably don’t offer what we offer here in Rutherford County. And an industry has to be – both sides have to be patient, you understand that education, like you said, their outcomes are based upon graduation rates. And that’s part of the one of the larger challenges in the US, right, about how do we incentivize certain behaviors, right? Because that’s, that’s the problem that companies even struggle with, right? Like what behaviors do we incentivize to get the results that we want, right? Education struggles with that, because the government’s involved, So a lot of layers there. But at the end of the day, especially community colleges, and really even like regional, four-year schools, their purpose is to serve that region. 100%, like, there if… I went to a regional school, Eastern Illinois University, rural, and they’re, they’re considered a school for teachers, right? That’s the biggest school there. That’s the majority of what they’re trying to push out because we need those teachers in rural areas, because there’s not enough of them. And so, but looking at industry and saying, “Hey, we have a limited set of company types around here”, and in working together to say, “What is it that you’re struggling with? What are the problems that you see and have? And how can we help?” And that goes both ways. Right? The industry needs to be asking those questions and education should be asking those questions because at the end of the day, the purpose of both industry and education in these communities should be to help build a more prosperous economy.

Beth:
Absolutely.

Chris:
And so, I guess, what do you think are kind of the key ingredients for all of these, these people to work together? Like, where do they start? What do they need to do first? And how should they go about starting that conversation? And who, who are the conversation starters? Like, think job titles etc.

Beth:
So, and I think this applies in either rural or suburban metro area. Of course, in a suburban metro areas, you’re going to have larger organizations like chambers of commerce or economic development agencies, or nonprofits, even United Way is a big convener of these kinds of conversations around the country. So, but if you’re in a smaller community, I would recommend and you’re an industry partner, and you want to move the needle on this. So typically, what happens or the conversations I’ve had with employers who have gotten frustrated with trying to move the needle with education, they pick up the phone, and they want to talk to the counselor, or they want to talk to the principal. And while those folks are well meaning and probably want to help, they have 100 things on their plates. So I think the best place to start in any local school district would be with the Career and Technical Education Director. Every community is going to have a position in a similar role, maybe a stem coordinator, if I think career technical education classes exist in every county in Tennessee, I know they do. And around the country, you’ve got to have some component of that in your schools. Find out who that is. Go to the website for the school district, look up stem coordinator, or career technical education director and ask them to lunch, ask them to have a conversation about what you’re passionate about, as an industry partner. Or go to your mayor, go to your county commission, go to your city council, and say, “Hey, this is a huge need in our community. I want to be a part of that solution. Can you help me facilitate that conversation? Who are the right people to bring to the table to do that?”

And again, even in small counties, I’ve got a friend, Greg Lowe in Lewisburg Tennessee. So, he runs Economic Development for Lewisburg, not a big community. He is the convener of those kinds of conversations. He brings the local manufacturers together once a month and has these kinds of conversations. “What do you need?” Helping employers define what their needs are is one of the biggest challenges. So, education gets frustrated because employers’ industry can’t always quantify what they’re asking for. Employers get frustrated because education seems to move slowly. So, bridging that gap is going to be really, really important.

Something new that we’re about to start here in Rutherford County, is a program that was developed by the US Chamber of Commerce called Talent Pipeline Management. And it’s just basically using supply chain principles around the idea of talent. So identifying what the top demand jobs are going to be in a given industry, for instance healthcare, that might be LPN and RN, and Respiratory Therapists after the year that we’ve been in, and then looking at for each employer to identify what is the demand going to be for those positions, both new positions and replacement positions as folks retire out. Identifying those total, the total number of positions for the next two to three years, and then working together to identify a common set of job criteria, that you can then sit down at the table with your education providers, your community colleges, your local four year institution, a TCAT or a technical college and say, “These are the positions we need. These are the job characteristics, do you have something that will help us increase the number of completers that finish at your institution that we can then use as a feeder in that talent pipeline chain to fill those positions?”

And then it’s a continuous improvement model that goes along with that.

Chris:
As we get close to wrapping up here today, Beth, I think what you just mentioned what I was thinking about the whole time you were answering the question – you mentioned building bridges. And to me, that’s the theme for Workforce Development in any community: urban, suburban, rural. In that, you have to have people that – it’s not going to be easy, right? It’s going to be a process. It’s going to take a couple of years to get from that first conversation, to actually seeing some sustainable outcomes. Because education can’t just change, they just – they can’t move that quickly. And it’s not their fault, necessarily. It’s how things are built and managed. And so, I think industry has to know that going into it, industry also needs to be cognizant of the fact that they need to know what they need, right? What exactly am I asking for? Right? Rather than just saying I need help? Right? You can’t be that –  you can’t be naive enough to think that somebody else knows what your problems are better than you do, because they don’t. And education has to be also saying “how can we help our communities grow and prosper, you know, better and more effectively and understand what the real needs are?” Because while there are some degrees that are out there that may not be totally valuable to a rural community, right. But you know, there is, we have such an emphasis, I think, in our community on or in our, at least my generation, I’m a millennial, it felt like if we didn’t grow up and go to a four year college, we were a failure, right? Like, that was the goal. And I do think the positive that we’re seeing right now with generations, like Z, or whatever, we’re calling them underneath millennials. And I’m glad that there’s somebody else to pick on now. Right?

Beth:
Well, I’m an X-er and I was the original slacker group. So, I totally get it.

Chris:
It’s good that they’re – I think they see, there’s not such a demand that you have to go to college. Right. I think we’re seeing that shift. Their skilled trades offer great opportunities. Even we talked about IT earlier. There’s a lot of IT work that can be done with a two-year degree, right? And, we’re teaching coding, like my daughter here in Rutherford County wants to do a coding camp at one of the elementary schools this summer. Yeah, I’m so excited about that. Because she, and thankfully, because I’m connected to these organizations, I see what these opportunities mean. So, I think I’m probably more educated. So that’s the other element of all of this is people have to get educated, parents need to be educated. Business Leaders need to be educated, they need to know what’s going on in their communities, they need to know what’s going on in their schools, they need to get their chambers involved. And I think one of the things that – one of the topics that we didn’t get to today was the idea of a rising tide lifts all ships. And so, we have been very, we have benefited very much in Nashville, greater Nashville, of being in a fast-growing community. But I think that there’s a lot of opportunity for if you can get education, government and industry working together, you can grow your community. People will want to live there, right? Because it just you get that feeling when you go to a community like that. Any last thoughts on the three of those groups working together?

Beth:
I think you just have to find the parties that are willing, and they may not be your traditional outlets. But if you’re an industry partner, if you’re a school leader, if you’re a mayor, you know, whatever it is find those people who are willing to have these conversations, and it’s hard work. I mean, I’ve been at it for eight years. And you know, I’m the person that gets up in our county every day and thinks, “Okay, I’m dedicated to how we create stronger partnerships. How do we help employers get out of their way, how do we help schools get out of their way to have these better opportunities for our students?”

At the end of the day, and it seems trite, you know, it’s for the children. Well, it is, but it’s also, selfishly, as a community member, I want a strong, well educated workforce that is going to support healthcare needs, government needs, we need… teachers teach, creating a teaching workforce is a crucial component as well. So, I want our students to have all the best opportunities and when all means all. So how do we help your girls learn more about coding? How do we help our minority populations understand things that – how do we help our minority populations understand careers that they might not traditionally think about, in terms of opportunities for them, and that’s only going to come when you when you put all of it together. Schools can’t do it on their own. There is just a lot going on in that building. And as our world gets more complex, the educational platform becomes even more complex. So it’s going to take truly a village to help our students to help our educators really understand all the possibilities that are out there to not only improve the schools, opportunities for students, but to create that workforce that’s really going to help our communities our state, our nation, continue to move forward.

Chris:
Yes, stop blaming others for the problems around you. Right.

Beth:
Be a part of the solution.

Chris:
Yes, be part of the solution, because anybody can really be part of the solution with all of this, right? When you look at education, getting involved as a parent, getting involved as a grandparent. You just need drivers, you need champions, you need to ask, what can we do? Right? Ask how I can help, it doesn’t matter what your role is, surely there’s something that that can be done to help this move forward.

Beth, this is a conversation I’m really passionate about, probably more passionate than I should be about in my role. But it is something that I just feel very connected to. And I want to see communities grow and prosper. And you know, I mentioned this on LinkedIn yesterday, I think somebody asked me a question. And I said, I just want, I want to see all people reach their fulfilment in life. I want to see them all be happy, and I want people to be prosperous, and I want them to enjoy life. And while money is not the driver of happiness, it does allow people opportunity, right? And the opportunity to kind of do as they please. And I think that’s what we need to see more of in our in our local communities. And I’m sure everybody would like to have a few more bucks in their pocket. So thank you for being on, Beth. How can our listeners connect with you if they want to learn more about what we’ve done here in Rutherford County? What you’ve done in Rutherford County, whether they’re, you know, industry, education or government, how can they find you?

Beth:
Right, so rutherfordchamber.org, or RutherfordWorks.com are the two websites. And I’m really fortunate because we are a public private partnership funded organization. I can work with anybody. We have folks come to our council meetings that aren’t from Rutherford County, just to learn how they can get involved and take that back to their own community. And I say I’ll work with anybody that wants to work with us, to improve our community and to improve outcomes for our students. So, and then they can also find me on Twitter @BethDuffieldTN and on LinkedIn as well, and I’m happy to help in any way I can. I have been fortunate to have friends reach out from Hawaii and Arizona and right now as cold as it is in Tennessee, I think I need to be calling in some favors and going to do some cross training with them. But happy to help anyone that wants to get this started in their own.

Chris:
Awesome. And I will make sure to put your information in the show notes. So, anybody that’s looking for those, you know, just look in our in our notes and wherever you’re listening, and I thank you again, Beth.

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And that’s a wrap on another episode of the Talent Tide Podcast. Please be sure to like subscribe and rate wherever you listen or watch the podcast from Apple to Spotify to YouTube. And remember to go win the day and that success is on the other side of fear. Thank you and see you soon.