Eight topics designed to help careers


Maryville, Tenn. – It’s Your Career! That’s the focus of eight free soft skills sessions offered in partnership by the Blount County Public Library, the Adult Education Foundation of Blount County and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce that are scheduled over the next nine months.


With more and more millennials entering the workforce, employers have noticed many workers in a variety of professions are lacking in several areas, including problem solving, conflict resolution and critical observation. But, even though they possess the hard skills to get an interview, it’s the important soft skills that will land the job and help them keep it.


“Workforce development is an ongoing focus for the Blount Chamber,” said Tammi Ford, Vice President of the Blount Chamber of Commerce. “As companies grow and new ones come into Blount County, we must have qualified workers for these jobs. Soft skills training is one of several workforce development areas the Chamber continues to tackle.”


“Soft skills are strengthened and developed over time, and are necessary if you desire to climb the career ladder,” said KC Williams, Director of Blount County Library. “Soft skills are those personal traits, habits, interpersonal skills and leadership that characterize our relationships with other people. Developing these skills is an important part of an individual’s contribution to the success of an organization.”


Williams added, “That’s the reason we are working with the Blount Partnership to reach as many young people and those early in their professional career as we can to show them how these skills play an important role not only in their job setting, but their personal lives.”


All classes are conducted at the library located at 508 N. Cusick in Maryville and limited to 30 participants. Those interested must register online at www.blountchamber.com/community/soft-skills. A complete class description is located on the registration site. All classes run from 8-10 a.m. with networking beginning at 7:30 a.m.


Registrations are currently being accepted for the first three classes with the inaugural class entitled “Time Management Techniques to Improve Your Productivity at Work” set for Sept. 18. This class aims to help people gain techniques and tools to help them manage their time effectively and increase their overall productivity.


The other classes with open registration are “Can You Have It All? Achieving Work-Life Balance for Business and Personal Success” and “Working Smarter: Keys to Career Success,” are set for Oct. 16 and Nov. 20, respectively.


The remainder of the schedule offers classes on Effective Communication, Information Management, Building a Team, Conflict Management and Paying it Forward: The Importance of Mentorship, Coachability.