Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 5, 2024

Briefs: All Tennessee counties report sub-5% unemployment

Tennessee set a record low for statewide unemployment in May when its seasonally adjusted rate dropped to 3% for the first time. The latest county unemployment data from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development showed continued low county unemployment across the state.

All 95 counties had unemployment rates at or below 4.4% in May and only five counties had a jobless number at or above 4%.

Eighty-six counties saw a slight uptick in their rates during May, while three counties recorded lower rates, and unemployment in six counties remained unchanged from April.

Sevier and Williamson counties had the lowest unemployment in the state in May with a rate of 2.1%. Sevier County’s number was unchanged from the previous month, while Williamson County’s rate inched up 0.1%.

Moore County had the next lowest rate at 2.2%, which mirrored its April rate.

Bledsoe County’s number marked the highest rate in the state. At 4.4%, unemployment in the county increased by 0.5% between April and May.

McNairy County had the next highest rate for the month at 4.2%, which was an increase of 0.5 of a percentage point. Both Lauderdale and Scott counties had rates of 4.1%, which amounted to an increase of 0.1% in Lauderdale County and 0.5% in Scott County.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted to factor in seasonal economic influences such as school breaks and severe weather conditions, while county unemployment rates are not.

10 new state parks add all-terrain wheelchairs

Last week, Tennessee State Parks announced the availability of new all-terrain wheelchairs at 10 state parks, enhancing accessibility for visitors and bringing the total of parks with all-terrain wheelchairs to 22.

The new wheelchairs announced this week are the result of a collaboration between the parks and Sunrise Medical, which designs and manufactures the wheelchairs, and the Tennessee Department of Disability and Aging.

New all-terrain wheelchairs announced are at these state parks:

• Cedars of Lebanon State Park

• Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park

• David Crockett State Park

• Fall Creek Falls State Park

• Fort Pillow State Historic Park

• Harrison Bay State Park

• Indian Mountain State Park

• Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park

• Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park

• Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park

“This is an important step for our parks, and we are eager to provide this service,” says Greer Tidwell, deputy commissioner for Conservation at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “We are grateful for the work of Sunrise Medical and our partnership with the Tennessee Department of Disability and Aging. Tennessee State Parks are forever and for everyone.”

Survey: Americans want manufacturing return

A recent survey conducted by ARC (American Revitalization Company), a leading real estate and business development firm, revealed that more than 80% of Americans consider manufacturing essential to the U.S. economy. This strong sentiment underscores the national desire to see manufacturing operations relocated to or retained on American soil.

The survey results of 1,000 U.S. adults demonstrate a clear consensus among Americans regarding the importance of manufacturing. Notably, 83.4% of respondents believe that the U.S. should bring back most or all of its manufacturing facilities to America. Additionally, 54% expressed concerns about the negative implications of outsourcing manufacturing operations.

Data from the National Association of Manufacturers further bolsters these findings, revealing the sector’s substantial economic contribution. In Q4 2023, manufacturing injected a staggering $2.89 trillion annually into the U.S. economy, with every dollar spent in manufacturing generating a total economic impact of $2.69. As of May 2024, the sector provided employment to nearly 13 million workers.

Interestingly, the survey also pointed out generational differences in attitudes toward manufacturing and trade jobs. Unlike the Baby Boomers and Generation X cohorts, younger demographics are showing increased interest in these fields. Among Gen Z respondents, 83% are open to or likely to consider trade jobs, while 78% of millennials shared the same viewpoint. Specifically, 46% of respondents indicated a preference for manufacturing over other trade jobs.

ArtsBuild awards $563K in mission support grants

ArtsBuild is celebrating its 55th anniversary of amplifying the arts in Greater Chattanooga with the momentous achievement of awarding $563 million in mission support grants to 23 nonprofits dedicated to providing art programs and fostering vibrant arts communities within Chattanooga and Hamilton County.

The grants, supported by individual donors to ArtsBuild’s annual campaign and the city of Chattanooga, are part of the nonprofit’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that everyone residing, working, visiting, and playing in the Greater Chattanooga area has access and can be exposed and inspired by the arts.

 Mission support grants were awarded to the following nonprofits:

 • Art 120

• Association of Visual Arts

• Be the Change Youth Initiative

• Bessie Smith Cultural Center

• Creative Discovery Museum

• CHA Ballet

• Chattanooga Boys Choir

• Chattanooga Girls Choir

• Chattanooga Theatre Centre

• CoPAC/Barking Legs

• Chattanooga Symphony & Opera

• Dynamo Studios

• East Lake Expression Engine

• Houston Museum of Decorative Arts

• Hunter Museum

• Scenic City Clay Arts

• SoLit

• Songbirds Foundation

• SoundCorps


• Stove Works & The Pop-Up Project

• Sculpture Fields                                

New report notes UTC role in cyber workforce

In a report issued by the White House June 25, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was recognized for its contributions to the U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy launched in March 2023.

The “Report on the Initial Stages of the National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy Implementation” is a status update on a federally-driven, nationwide approach to position “the United States and its allies and partners to build a digital ecosystem that is more defensible, more resilient, and better aligned with our values.”

 The report cited UTC for achieving National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity designation with its “Collaborative Research: CyberCorps Scholarship for Service: Strengthening the National Cybersecurity Workforce With Integrated Learning of AI/ML and Cybersecurity.”