Future Ready Institutes launch aims to improve workforce development in Hamilton County Schools

Blake Freeman, right, and Howard principal Leandrea Ware walk across the Life Force helipad during a tour at Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Teachers from Howard and other schools which will launch Future Ready Institutes in the fall spent the week participating in externships at business partners across the region.

This summer, Hamilton County educators, community leaders and business partners are launching a massive effort to prepare the next generation of workers.

The brainchild of Superintendent Bryan Johnson, who began championing the idea soon after he took the helm of the district last year, Hamilton County Schools is establishing more than 20 Future Ready Institutes embedded in traditional high schools across the district.

The fall initiative is a partnership between Hamilton County Schools, Chattanooga 2.0 and a variety of business partners. Many of the institutes, which each have a core industry theme such as health sciences, engineering, industrial manufacturing and hospitality, have business sponsors.

"The Institutes are creating an ecosystem of collaboration unlike anything before in the community.