Leonard "Len" Davis was laid off from Goodyear in July 2011 where he had been employed for over twenty years. Four months later, Davis chose to visit the TN Career Center (known today as the American Job Center) as part of a group of dislocated Goodyear employees who wanted to explore employment, education, and training opportunities. After considering his options, he enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Dyersburg State Community College in January 2012.
"I have always heard that it is not what happens to you, but how you respond to what happens,” states Davis. “I found that I had to do what was best for my family. That meant going back to school to go into education.”
Davis graduated Summa Cum Laude from DSCC in December 2013 with an Associate of Science Degree in General Studies. After self-paying for his Associate degree, he was able to use a combination of Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) and Northwest TN Workforce Board Needs-Based Scholarships and transportation stipends to continue his education at the University of TN at Martin.
Davis graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from UT Martin in May 2016 and was hired by the Obion County Board of Education to teach sixth grade math at Ridgemont Elementary School. Mr. Jon Kerr, Principal at Ridgemont Elementary, states, "Mr. Davis has done a fantastic job bringing his life experience to Ridgemont Elementary and encouraging students to achieve more than they ever thought they could."
To learn more about scholarships, transportation stipends, and other FREE services available through the American Job Center, contact an office near you today: http://www.northwesttncareercenter.org/locations.
On December 22, 2016, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the November 2016 unemployment rates by county. Below are the rates by county for the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board region (WIOA 12):
For more information, please see the Department News Release
Manufacturing Day, typically held on the first Friday in October, is an annual national event executed at the local level supported by thousands of manufacturers as they host students, teachers, parents, job seekers, and other local community members at open houses, plant tours, and presentations designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers.
Locally, the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board collaborated with several partners in 11 counties to host successful Manufacturing Day events in October and November 2016. Approximately 765 students from 22 high schools toured and/or heard presentations from 39 local industries, two TN Colleges of Applied Technology, and one community college, about the benefits of working in advanced manufacturing as part of an effort to change people’s perceptions about today’s manufacturing environment and draw attention to the outstanding opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide. Lana Wood, Director of Business Services explains that each county celebrates Manufacturing Month in its own way. “Some industries provide tours, while others visit middle schools and high schools to talk about the jobs available, career pathways, and the education needed to be successful in these jobs.”
Margaret Prater, Vice President for Workforce Development for the NWTN Workforce Board described how the benefits of Manufacturing Month are wide-reaching. “The partnerships developed between the employers, schools, the Workforce Board and higher education have resulted in manufacturing-specific training programs being added to Career Technical Education programs throughout Northwest Tennessee. The skills students learn can be directly transferred to the workplace. As a result, several employers in the region are offering paid internships to students that are successful in earning a Production Technician Certification from the Manufacturing Skills Standard Council.”
In addition to educating students about careers advanced manufacturing, participating employers help students understand the importance of soft-skills in addition to technical skills. “As an employer we work hard on identifying and improving everyone’s soft skills, such as communication, integrity, attitude, teamwork and work ethic,” states Jared Robertson of Southern Pride in Alamo. “Strengthening your soft skills will help you interact better with colleagues and employers as well as your friends and family.”
A big thanks goes out to our employers and schools!
Benton County Benton County Technical School-- TN College of Applied Technology at Paris, Unimin, Palmer Companies
Carroll County Huntingdon, Clarksburg, and West Carroll High Schools and Carroll County Technical Center—Granges (formerly Noranda)
Crockett County Crockett County High School --ABB, Inc.; Southern Pride
Dyer County Dyersburg & Dyer County High Schools-- Caterpillar, ERMCO, NORTEK, DOT Foods, Eaton, PolyOne, Firestone.
Gibson County Humboldt, Milan, and Peabody, Gibson County, Bradford, and South Gibson County High Schools – Mayor Tom Witherspoon, ABB, Inc., Ceco Door Products, Reinhausen, and MacLean Power Systems, Chicago Metallic
Henry County Henry County High School—Dana, PML
Lake County Lake County High School-- Caterpillar, Eaton
Lauderdale County Ripley and Halls High Schools --TN College of Applied Technology, Marvin Windows and Doors, Komatsu.
Obion County South Fulton, Obion County & Obion County Central High Schools--Green Plains Renewable Energy, MIA Seating, Greenfield Products, ICI
Tipton County Covington, Munford, and Brighton High Schools--TN College of Applied Technology in Covington, Dyersburg State Community College Covington Campus, Unilever, CSC Sugar, Mueller Brass
Weakley County Dresden, Westview & Gleason High Schools-- MTD Products in Martin, TN.
On November 23, 2016, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the October 2016 unemployment rates by county. Below are the rates by county for the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board region (WIOA 12):
For additional information, please see the Department News Release.
On October 7, 2016, Doris Willett, Career Development Services Coordinator, was recognized by Vice President for Workforce Development Margaret Prater as the 2016 Board Employee of the Year. Nominated and elected by her peers, Willett was recognized for her dedication to her position and to helping her staff and peers. “Doris goes above and beyond to make sure that her job is done and done to perfection. She is always willing to help anyone and does it with a smile. She works many extra hours to make sure that every “I” is dotted and every “T” is crossed” stated Willett’s nominator.
Willett began working for Dyersburg State Community College’s Workforce Development division, under the guidance of the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board, in 2011 after being dislocated as the result of the closure of Goodyear. She worked as a Career Advisor in the specialized Career Center for individuals dislocated from Goodyear and later transferred to the TN Career Center in Dresden. Her skills and expertise earned her a promotion to the position of Career Development Services Coordinator in November 2015.