Governor Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development today unveiled three vehicles designed to improve outcomes for those looking for work. Three "Career Coaches" were customized with 10 computer workstations with Internet access, printers, fax machines, and flat screen TV's with SMART Board overlays to facilitate classroom instruction. The intent of these roving offices is to bring job matching and training to rural communities that have limited access to a Tennessee Career Center.
"Job growth is my priority, and one of four focuses must be tackling unemployment in rural counties. These Career Coaches remove barriers and open up opportunities for our Tennessee job seekers," Haslam said. "Taking career counseling, job training and technological resources on the road to meet applicants where they need it the most will help put us on the road to economic recovery throughout our state."
The vehicles will be based in Huntingdon, Nashville and Knoxville in order to cover all areas of the state. Each mobile unit will be staffed with three Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development employees who are trained in career counseling and unemployment benefits. They will conduct frequent workshops in résumé preparation, job search skills, and interviewing skills. The department's division of Adult Education will also utilize the vehicles for enrollment pre-and post-testing, orientation, administering the Official GED Practice Test, and offering GED Fast Track classes.
"The strength of the Career Coaches is their mobility," said Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. "New employers can prescreen individuals and conduct interviews before their facilities are even available. Conversely, if there is a mass layoff in a rural area, we can bring in our staff and equipment to assist workers still on the worksite. The Career Coaches operate much like that of our Tennessee Career Centers but with wheels."
"They say if you give a man a fish you can feed him for a day but if you teach that man to fish you can feed him for a lifetime," Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey said. "Many of our citizens, especially rural Tennesseans, are in desperate need of the tools necessary to compete in an increasingly intimidating global marketplace. These mobile career centers will provide a much needed lifeline to our state's most vulnerable jobseekers."
"These mobile career centers will provide Tennesseans across this state with the information, assistance, and equipment they need to find jobs and career opportunities," Speaker Beth Harwell said. "Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development employees will provide them with the tools they need to succeed in today's economy, and I applaud Governor Haslam and Commissioner Davis for making this a priority."
A secondary function of the Career Coaches is to act as mobile command centers during natural disasters. Each vehicle was outfitted with the latest in mobile communication, and together with their wireless Internet capability can serve as a vital lifeline to emergency services personnel in the event of a catastrophe such as a flood or earthquake.
Funding for the vehicles was made available from a $4.6 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Re-Employment Services that Tennessee received in 2009. Each mobile unit was built at a cost of $188,000.
For scheduling information please call 615.741.0634 or book the Career Coach online at www.getonthecoach.tn.gov. Information and updates are also available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/getonthecoach.