“The Economic Stimulus Package will provide approximately $2.4 million to the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency for the purpose of providing services to youth, adults, and dislocated workers. According to the analysis of unemployment numbers across the nation, youth and young adults are among the hardest hit. Youth needing work will be receiving pay checks, works sites for these youth such as units of local government, school systems and other local entities will get much needed help. The Agency welcomes the opportunity to help the residents of the Upper Cumberland as they are faced with and work through a most difficult economic time, a win/win for the area”, stated Phyllis Bennett, Executive Director, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.
The Human Resource Agency’s $1.2 million summer youth program will serve approximately 710 individuals, ages 14 through 24, with the activities beginning in late May and going through July. The Agency is projecting that approximately 280 of the participants will be involved in classroom activities such as science and technology. “The summer youth program will provide an opportunity to make money to buy clothes and school supplies and/or receive training. Becoming a part of the workforce will allow the participants to learn good work ethics. Our communities will benefit from the youth having spending monies which will stimulate the local economy,” Bennett stated.
The Human Resource Agency is working with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development to develop the implementation plans for the workforce programs in the Economic Stimulus Package. In addition to the $1.2 million Summer Youth Program, the Agency will be getting approximately $480,000 for additional services for adults in job training programs, and $684,000 for services for dislocated workers. Monies for adult and dislocated workers will be used to provide training, targeting unemployed and individuals that have lost their jobs due to plant closures or lay offs.
“In the past, funding was available for the Summer Youth Employment Program which was a successful and popular program in all of the counties. The Human Resource Agency is fortunate that funding has been restored to offer these programs and to have experienced staff that has been involved in planning and administering the program. Based on past experience in youth programs, it is apparent that programs of this nature make a difference in the lives of participants,” stated Pat Callahan, Employment and Training Director, Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.
At a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency, Board Chairman Mike Foster stated, “the Economic Stimulus Package will give the counties immediate assistance as well as make a difference for years to come. Youth, adults, and dislocated workers will receive services that will improve their chances for employment and financial assistance.”
Applications for the Summer Youth Program in the 12 county areas will begin April 16th. “Services made available through the Economic Stimulus Package will bring relief to the current economic crunch for the residents of our cities and county. We encourage interested individuals to contact their DeKalb County UCHRA office located at 527 West Main Street in Smithville - (615) 597-4504 or the Upper Cumberland Career Center located at 3300 Williams Enterprise Drive in Cookeville – (931)-520-8733,” stated Mike Foster, DeKalb County Executive, and Taft Hendrixson, Mayor of Smithville.
(Pictured in photo-UCHRA officials review the Summer Youth and Adult Employment and Training opportunities. Pictured seated, from left to right: Brock Hill, Cumberland County Mayor and UCHRA Finance Committee Chairman; Phyllis Bennett, UCHRA Executive Director; Mike Foster, DeKalb County Executive and UCHRA Chairman of the Board of Directors; Kenneth Copeland, Overton County Mayor and UCHRA Manpower Committee Chairman – standing, from left to right: Taft Hendrixson, Mayor of Smithville and UCHRA Manpower Committee Member; and Pat Callahan, UCHRA Employment and Training Director.)