Jobs / Future / Connected Workforce – Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of VW in North America, has now joined the rarefied ranks of ‘intelligent cities’ — Chattanooga is the only U.S. city with a population of over 100,000 that has achieved this designation.

An intelligent city is one where the intersection of information technology and urban design are planned together with intent to unite information availability and information flow with business, homes and the workforce.

Despite Chattanooga’s access to broadband speeds of 50 Mbps connections (average connectivity speed in the U.S. is 6.7 mps), the telecom giants and lobbyists are busy at work convincing states to block power grid broadband delivery from happening. Nineteen states have passed laws that block local governments from setting up publicly-owned broadband services — which has proven to be the most common method of building such networks.

We should look to private industry to efficiently deliver solutions and capabilities that meet public needs. Certainly high speed internet that can be delivered anywhere over a power grid would be such a service, especially lightning fast broadband that puts most broadband to shame. Unfortunately this technology is being hindered and heldback because much of the private sector has not yet figured out how to create a delivery grid that can compete with the power grid which already exists in our homes and businesses.


Chattanooga, Tennessee (pop 167,000), has leapt to the forefront of American cities with ultra high-speed broadband service and has accomplished the feat in a surprisingly old-fashioned way: the city’s municipally-owned electric utility provides the service. Tennessee’s fourth-largest city is now a member of a small, but elite group of world-class cities that can offer residents and businesses Internet service of up to one gigabit per second, 200 times faster than the average broadband speed in America, according to The New York Times.

Harnessing Intellectual Capital

From Ross Honeywill, Australian futurist and business consultant: “The urban fabric of the world is changing as key cities turn their backs on the traditional economy and move towards an intelligent future. An Intelligent City is characterized by its place in the new- or neo-economy with a commitment to cultural capital, innovative environments, diversity, high social intelligence and digital leadership.

It typically has diversity in social relationships, a high capacity for imagination and innovation central to the creativity of its population and its institutions of knowledge creation; and a rapidly evolving digital infrastructure for communication and knowledge management.

Marion Norfleet Styron – U.S. Army 1944

Marion Norfleet Styron of Hickory, Virginia was my great aunt on my mother’s side. She married Donald Styron. Both served in the U.S. Army and met during World War II.

Aunt Marion joined the Women Army Corps (WAC) when she got the chance.

These photos are from December 1944 while she was in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. She sent these photos to my Uncle John Norfleet, U.S. Navy, who was himself stationed at Attu in the Aleutians at the time.

Note: click the photos to get larger, higher resolution versions. Two levels are provided.

FYI – The Norfleets are among Virginia’s and America’s oldest families, having arrived at Jamestown, Virginia no later than October 1637 when they received a land grant at what is now the Springfield Plantation on the James River, Virginia.

Am a family historian of the Norfleet family (came to America in 1636/37 at Jamestown from Norfleet, England) and the Richard Golden family (came to America at Savannah, Georgia by way of Ireland). I welcome your photos, stories and memories. If you have no one to leave them to the please consider sending them to me. I promise to keep them safe, to digitize them, and to share them with the world. You can reach me at