Expect Employment 2015: Employment First Task Force Report to the Governor


State Policies & Initiatives: 
Policies and Programs

~~“Governor Haslam established Tennessee as an Employment First state in June 2013 with Executive Order No. 28.  This Order, in recognition of high levels of unemployment for Tennesseans with disabilities, mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders, establishes the Employment First Task Force to support the commitment of state partnership agencies to increase opportunities for integrated, competitive employment.  The Task Force includes representatives from state agencies, consumers and family members, advocates, service providers, employers and other community members.

The Employment First Task Force released its first Expect Employment Report to the Governor in August 2014 to outline findings and provide recommendations for expanding community employment for Tennesseans with disabilities. The Task Force members identified barriers to employment in their first year in order to strategically plan and propose changes in policies and practices to increase employment. The Task Force and our partners at TennesseeWorks were able to move quickly to action. TennesseeWorks is an initiative facilitated by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center since 2012.  With a shared vision to increase employment for all Tennesseans with disabilities, Employment First and TennesseeWorks are able to accomplish mutual goals through four work groups who take the lead in these key areas:  Policymakers/ Data; Employers and Providers; Education; and Families and Youth. This 2015 Report describes some of the specific results and progress achieved over the past year by these groups as well as the strategies set in motion to sustain and measure progress through a new strategic plan “

  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Department of Human Services, Council of Developmental Disabilities, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Disability Rights Tennessee, The ARC Tennessee
Date Enacted: