The U.S. Senate recently passed a resolution declaring September 2021 as Workforce Development Month and acknowledging that workforce development plays a crucial role in supporting workers and growing the economy.
In Northwest Tennessee, the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board (NWTNWB), established in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) and designated by County Mayors, is charged with administering workforce development services in the nine counties in Northwest Tennessee: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley.
The majority of the members of the NWTNWB are private business leaders from throughout the nine county service region. Representatives from Labor Organizations, Education & Training, Government, Economic & Community Development, and other community organizations also serve on the board. The vision of the NWTNWB is for Northwest Tennessee to be an area where business and industry thrive based on the availability of a skilled workforce and a robust talent pipeline, and where increasing wealth fuels prosperous communities and a high quality of life.
To achieve this vision, and ensure that area employers have the skilled workforce needed, the NWTNWB offers a multitude of services to both jobseekers and employers. The American Job Centers (AJCs), conveniently located in each county throughout Northwest Tennessee, is the local connection between employers and jobseekers. AJCs offer everything needed to connect employers with quality employees, including:
- Posting available positions, accepting applications, and referring qualified candidates through JOBS4TN.GOV - a robust, online search engine that connects employers to candidates based on qualifications.
- Hosting in-person and virtual job fairs and hiring events, and advertising jobs on Facebook and other social media outlets.
- Use of facilities and equipment, including the Mobile AJC. Each AJC has a computer lab and space available for employers to conduct interviews/meet with potential employees, or the Mobile AJC can provide services on-site.
In addition to assisting employers to connect with existing qualified workers, the NWTNWB and AJCs also offer funding for a variety of training services to enhance the skills of new and existing employees to meet employers’ needs, which include:
- Paid Internships - employers may host eligible paid interns who are 100% funded through AJC programs, including workers’ compensation coverage, allowing new employees to be trained prior to being hired.
- On-the-Job Training Grant Opportunities – an employer may qualify for up to 50% reimbursement for inexperienced new hires who qualify for on-the-job training grants. Area employers recouped over $352,000 for investments in training this past year.
- Customized Incumbent Worker Training - training grants up to $25,000 may be available to fund customized training for an employer’s existing workforce (employed six months or longer). Area employers received nearly $340,000 for incumbent worker training this past year.
- Educational Scholarships - Career Advisors in the AJC help jobseekers improve their skills through scholarships of up to $4,000 per year for up to two years of training, and other financial support, for in-demand occupations. Nearly $518,000 was expended this past year on scholarships.
The NWTNWB’s recently released Annual Report for the 2020-2021 program year, which provides additional details on the services offered and funding provided to jobseekers and employers and highlights customers’ successes, is available online HERE. Additionally, throughout the month of September, a variety of workforce services will be promoted on the AJCs of Northwest TN Facebook page.
If you would like more information about workforce services available in Northwest TN, please CONTACT US.
This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee. Auxiliary aids & services are available upon request. EOE. TDD #711.