Our whole Rock City brand was originally created with the purpose of highlighting and promoting local businesses. It is why we focus hard on the local restaurants here, and every extension of what we do carries the same mission. Over the years our work has been increasingly behind the scenes as we help restaurants, breweries, and other small businesses succeed in ways that no other publication has ever tried. It is through a lot of these engagements that we keep hearing the same request, that businesses increasingly need a stronger workforce.
Very few people know, but the original Rock City branded concept was developed in 2010 and the idea was to build a location where creative people can come work with others, collaborate on larger projects, and find training courses to increase skills. The last portion of that plan was something I called RockCity U. At the time I worked in a manufacturing consulting firm and managed training courses. Now 10 years later I am ready to roll it out.
The goal with RockCity U is to help develop skills that are needed after formal education ends, once you are already in a job. We want to work to provide tangible skills to increase the overall quality of the workforce in a given industry so that people have the opportunity to advance and businesses have the opportunity to further develop their existing workers.
Naturally, we are going to start in the food industry.
We are in the process right now of having conversations with successful restaurant owners, managers, and chefs about what they need in critical areas. We are asking questions like what do you need in a front of house/kitchen/bar manager? What do you need in a general manager? What skills do you think you were lacking when you got in? What skills does the ownership team still lack?
Around each of these, we will build a series of courses framed as questions. It might be “how do I cost a bar menu?”, “how do I connect with the media?”, or “how do I develop a cross-training program?”. All of these courses are designed to be compact and digestible so that at the end of a 3 or so hour training course you walk out with the answer to the question and know how to do it in your own business.
Once we have the initial needs developed we are working with experts around the city to come in, develop a course, and even teach the classes.
It is designed to be flexible as well. So if you are just lacking an individual skill, you are welcome to join in on any session. If a business wants to train someone up or an individual wants to increase their skills, they can participate in the whole program.
The plan right now is to roll out with our first few programs starting early next year and slowly add on courses and programs throughout the year. After that, we plan to start developing programs for other industries and grow our offerings.
This may be the most important work we have done, and we will not be able to do it alone. If you are interested in helping, investing, or being a resource drop us a comment in the form below and let us know how you want to help. We want to partner with people, programs, and companies already doing good work or are interested in building for the future of the area.
Additionally, if you want us to keep you up to date about courses and programs fill out the form and check the box to receive more information.
Together we are going to build a stronger workforce and it starts right here.