A group of Chattanooga’s most enthusiastic champions of the tech industry gathered with representatives from Cook Systems July 11, 2018 to learn more about FastTrack’D and the possibility of establishing the program there. Upon connecting with Chattanooga local Sammy Lowdermilk, a member of the Digital Equity Team at the Enterprise Center and co-founder of the Tennessee Code Academy and 100 Girls of Code, Cook’s Curt Holmes learned that a few “boot camp”-style programs had considered launching in Chattanooga and failed to come to fruition, leaving a perfect opportunity for a program like FastTrack’D to fill the gap and cultivate more tech talent in the area.
With the encouragement of Lowdermilk and other members of the technology community in Chattanooga, Cook invited members of the Chattanooga Technology Council, Infosystems, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, the City of Chattanooga, and Chattanooga State Community College together for a dinner to share more about FastTrack’D’s unique offering. The event provided an opportunity for Cook to build relationships and potential partnerships in the area that could bring more businesses into the conversation and allow FastTrack’D to thrive in Chattanooga.
“The meeting was very encouraging, and it made me excited to see where this endeavor could take us,” said Holmes, who works in Business Development at Cook. “We can’t wait to replicate the success we’ve seen in Memphis with FastTrack’d in another area of the state.”
“The president of the Chattanooga Technology Council loved the idea and even said she would introduce us to other technology companies in the area,” said Joe Hunter, Director of Sales and Development at Cook. “She was more than willing to help us promote FastTrack’D, and I’m thrilled to begin building relationships and expand the tech industry in Chattanooga.”
Cook hopes to hold future follow-up events in Chattanooga to build on this momentum as well as begin sparking interest in the Nashville area as well.