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Mayor Wharton Announces Re-launch of Workforce Investment Network

September 20, 2010

On Friday September 17 Mayor A C Wharton announced the re-launch of the Memphis Workforce Investment Network (WIN) under the leadership of Desi Franklin. Franklin was tapped as executive director of the Memphis arm of the network in May 2010 and since then has worked vigorously to reorganize and reengineer operations for optimal returns on funding. The following are some recent successes for WIN over the last four months:

  • Creating Summer Youth Jobs Program
    • Over $2 million spent to employ underserved youth
    • 840 youth employed from June 15-August 6
    • 13 youth still employed by City cleaning up blighted properties
    • Everyone was paid; many (youth) are the only wage earners in their families
    • All youth were certified eligible
    • Working already with the Chamber and Congressional delegation to seek funding for summer of 2011
  • Participating in the National Emergency Grant, employing dislocated workers in clean up and restoration efforts related to the May floods – primarily in Millington
  • Earning the confidence of the Tennessee Department of Labor in WIN’s operations
    • State Workforce Board approved Strategic Plan
    • Tennessee Department of Labor (TDOL) released all of WIN’s grants – including management of Incumbent Worker Training grants that had been previously taken.
    • WIN is spending its grant funds – we are working hard to make sure we will not be sending money back this fiscal year and in the future.
    • WIN has been asked to partner with TDOL in a US Department of Labor (USDOL) pilot project to measure our required performance in light of serving low income participants
    • New WIN executive management team members:
      • Have replaced half of the management team and strengthened the organizational chart.
      • Deputy Director of Programs – Henry Lewis
      • Deputy Director of Administration – Wanda Faulkner
      • Fiscal Manager – Tony Rallings
      • Contracts and Grants Manager – Jim Kovariker
  • Implementing current initiatives:
    • Working on a strategic focus to serve youth and ex-offenders while creating green jobs skilled workers (and jobs), apprenticeships (earn while you learn), short term internships to incentivize hiring
    • Working to hold our subcontractors accountable for spending our grant funds and achieve required performance
    • Embarking on a strategic process to assess all WIN programs and practices to increase efficiency and accountability
    • Working on collaborations with community partners – ex., MIFA, Library, Mayor’s Plan to Eradicate Homelessness, city Clean-up efforts, People First, Memphis Talent Dividend, Women’s Foundation, Memphis Bioworks, Chamber
    • Partnering with business to serve needs of employers:
    • Customized recruiting of employees (assessment, screening,
      • Customized training: 1. On the job training 2. Incumbent worker training
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