New Nashville ‘GRAD’ Results Program Launched

Nashville GRAD (Getting Results by Advancing Degrees)—a new, collaborative effort by Nashville Mayor David Briley, Nashville State Community college and TCAT-Nashville—begins this year to provide financial assistance beyond tuition for 3,000-plus students annually.

“Nashville’s strong economy offers a wealth of opportunities for many,” said Nancy Eisenbrandt, chief talent development officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of the Nashville State Community College Foundation. “New job announcements continue to make headlines, and the unemployment rate is at a record low. But prosperity has not been a reality for many.”

The mayor committed up to $1 million from this year’s Metro budget and up to $2.5 million annually in the future for GRAD. 

“Obtaining a degree or credential after high school can raise a person’s lifetime income by one-third. By 2020, 60 percent of jobs will require some type of post-secondary degree,” he added.

Nashville GRAD’s objective is to increase the number of NSCC graduates in three years to at least 50 percent and increase TCAT industry certifications to 66 percent by 2023.

Japanese Izakaya Bar Otaku Opens in Former Little Octopus Space

Otaku Ramen owner Sarah Gavigan closed Little Octopus and opened Bar Otaku in its place at 505 12th Ave. S. This is two years after Sarah relocated Little Octopus from East Nashville to the Gulch. She opened Otaku Ramen in 2015 at 1104 Division St. 

“We’ve had a blast with Little Octopus and appreciate the support we’ve received. Now we’re more familiar with the neighborhood and needs of the city. It’s simply the right time for a change,” Sarah said in a statement.

Photo courtesy of Otaku Ramen

Nashville Region’s Vital Signs Report

In the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Nashville Region’s Vital Signs report released, key findings were:

  • From 2007 – 2017, the Nashville MSA ranks fourth behind Charlotte, Austin and Raleigh for population growth, adding nearly 400,000 new residents. 
  • New job creation significantly outperformed projections from 2010. 
  • Weekly wages of region are on par with national average, unemployment rates are low, and job growth numbers are high.
  • The population across all levels of education has had an increase in the percentage of people below the poverty line. 
  • Nashville pays highly competitive rates to individuals who have completed high school or have some college but still lags in average earnings for graduate and professional degrees.
  • The region is above the national average in educational attainment of bachelors and other graduate or professional degrees. A factor in this data point is the people moving from other states and abroad who are bringing advanced degrees with them.
  • Compared to peer cities, Nashville had a decrease in the number of employers that offer health insurance.

To view the full report, visit

New Breakfast Spot Sought for Valentine’s Day?

Stay Golden Restaurant & Roastery opened its second location at 2934 Sidco Drive, Suite 130, four months after opening its first location in the Berry Hill/100 Oaks neighborhood. Its owners claim to be setting the new standard for coffee concepts in Nashville by treating coffee and food as equals, rather than putting one above the other. 

Shop coffees are named Chin Up, Selva Adina, AB Tarime, La Ceiba, Finca La Providencia, Buf Umurage and Decaf Caldas. Shop coffee called Hang Tough often is sold out!

Photo courtesy of Stay Golden