Main image of article Advice to Nashville: Bill City As ‘Hip’ Tech Hub

Businesses and industry need to work together with local educational institutions to brand Nashville as “a hip hub for high-tech workers and companies,” a University of California-Davis expert on expanding the labor pool told local leaders. Doing so would boost its existing employers, such as those in healthcare and the auto industry, and attract new ones, Steven Currall, dean of the UC-Davis Graduate School of Management, said at the Global South Summit forum, which focused on the global talent shortage. “In the competition for talent, the U.S. has to continue to have the best education system in the world,” he said. “This country is facing competition from China, India.... We have to continue to attract students and train them specifically for the needs of our employers.” Other members of the panel, however, said the push to lure students into technology fields must start much earlier – in middle or high school. “Companies are moving talent all over the world,” said Lisa Atkins, director of immigration policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Let’s work to keep the talent here.” In addition to the major healthcare employers in Nashville such as Vanderbilt University and HCA, mobile protection vendor Asurion and software company Orion Health have been on hiring sprees there recently.