Roane State to host The Future of Work Symposium on March 14

Registration is open for The Future of Work Symposium to be held on March 14, 2024, at Roane State Community College. The event will examine what the workforce will look like in the year 2030 and explore future-proofing solutions for a variety of industries.

The symposium is scheduled for 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. ET. There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be provided. The event will be hosted inside the O’Brien Theatre at the college’s flagship campus in Harriman. Registration, a full event agenda, and additional details are available online at

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Lynne E. Parker, vice chancellor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, who will speak about the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation on the skills needed by the workforce of tomorrow.

Three panel discussions are scheduled to follow the keynote, with breakout sessions expanding on the topics covered, including AI, advanced manufacturing, digital twinning, and entrepreneurship. Tennessee Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Deneice Thomas will also welcome attendees and participate in one of the panels.

The symposium is part of the Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC) grant, which Roane State is administering to help provide non-need-based training for those in the workforce, those out of the workforce, or those who have been dislocated by their job.

“Our goal with this symposium is to support small businesses in the heart of our local communities so that they can succeed and prepare for the future,” said Mike Eppler, director of the WORC grant in Roane State’s Workforce Development office. “The training we are able to offer is already supporting entrepreneurship and building a better business ecosystem that will be sustainable long after this grant is done.”

The WORC grant-funded training is available through the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) at Roane State. Applications are currently being accepted. Full scholarships are available for business owners and employees seeking training to help support their business. Applications can be found at

Roane State’s campus in Harriman is located at 276 Patton Lane. The theatre is located in the O’Brien Building. Event signage will be placed on the day of the event to help attendees navigate campus and locate convenient parking. A campus/building map is also available online.

For more information on the symposium, visit

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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