Chattanoogans are invited to the first local Black in Tech panel discussion and happy hour Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 5-7 p.m., hosted by The Enterprise Center in partnership with the global Blacks in Technology organization.
It’s estimated that across the US, only 8 percent of employees in tech — and only 3 percent in executive positions — are Black, according to the 2023 State of Tech Workforce study.
Working alongside a planning team of local experts and advocates, The Enterprise Center has launched the Black in Tech workforce development partnership with an aim to increase those percentages and help foster connections to support career growth across the community.
“This is more than just a panel discussion; it’s a celebration of diversity, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of excellence in the tech industry,” said Kevin Love, director of workforce development for The Enterprise Center. “We invite everyone to join us for an evening that promises not only to be enlightening but also deeply inspiring.”
Considering the direct economic impact of the tech sector in the state of Tennessee alone is estimated at $18.3 billion, according to the same study by CompTIA, addressing the lack of diversity now is imperative to prevent the opportunity and workforce gaps from widening.
“Opportunity exists across Chattanooga – we just want to ensure that access to those opportunities also exist across our community,” Love explained.
At Wednesday’s event, attendees can mingle with one another at happy hour (beginning at 5 p.m.) as well as hear from and engage with industry experts in the area during the panel and Q&A portions of the evening.
Panelists include Malcolm Harris with Galactic Advisors, Chantee Boykins from EPB, and Dr. Tremaine Powell with Chattanooga State Community College.
Attendees who RSVP ahead of the free event through Eventbrite will receive complimentary food and drink tickets.
For questions or to get involved with future efforts, email firstname.lastname@example.org.