The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced today it will close 34 of its career centers in a cost-savings move.
Burns Phillips, the department’s acting commissioner, said the restructuring of the career center network will allow a more economically effective service to Tennessee citizens. The move comes as federal dollars that funded the centers dried up.
Since 2004, career centers were operating at a deficit, and more than $32 million in one-time federal funding was used to supplement the program. When that funding ran out, Gov. Bill Haslam included $5 million of state funding in last year’s budget to give the department an opportunity to work on a plan to run the career centers efficiently and effectively moving forward.
“Citizens across the state will continue to have convenient access to career center services,” Phillips said in a release. “We understand the importance of providing support to job seekers and take that responsibility seriously. This plan allows us to rightsize the program and continue services to all 95 counties.”
The department said there were three main factors in determining service relocations: 1. career center locations required by law; 2. alignment with the governor’s jobs camps; and 3. most effective use of remaining federal funds to serve as many Tennesseans as possible.
Read here for a list of Tennessee Career Centers that will continue operations and the counties they will serve.
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