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Tennessee’s workforce investment act programs make the grade

Statistics show Tennessee ranks in the top percentile in re-employment success of retrained adults

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce DevelopmentNASHVILLE, TN, – The latest figures released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development show programs created by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 are succeeding in helping Tennessee’s adult population get back to work and at a higher rate of pay.

Tennessee is ranked 4th nationally overall and 3rd nationally for adults employed after WIA training programs. Tennessee also ranks in the top 11 percent nationally in employment rate and retention of their jobs. The latest figures show after exiting these WIA programs, participants who remain employed after six months have average yearly earnings of $27,000.

The report also documents the success Tennessee WIA programs had in helping Dislocated Workers. Of the 9,120 who registered for training in 2009, 92 percent retained their jobs for six months, which is in the top 11 percent across the nation.

“All of these numbers exceed our projected expectations, which really shows how well these programs have been received by the public,” said Commissioner James Neeley. “Each dollar spent on retraining adults, older workers and displaced workers yields much more when Tennesseans are not only getting a job, but are also getting higher paying jobs.”

WIA provides incentive grants of between $750,000 and $3,000,000 to states that exceed established performance standards. As a result of Tennessee’s outstanding performance, the WIA program received an incentive grant of $976,065. This grant will be used to support skill training needs of Tennessee’s employers.

The Workforce Investment Act requires states to measure the yearly success of WIA-authorized workforce development, adult education, and literacy activities by using performance indicators.  Since the inception of the program in 2000, WIA Tennessee has won more than $7 million in incentive awards.


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