Expect Employment 2015: TN Employment First Task Force Report


State Policies & Initiatives: 
Policies and Programs

In the past year, Tennessee:

  • Continued to expand Project SEARCH to include 60 interns participating at 7 program sites statewide. A total of 42 individuals have been employed through Project SEARCH
  • Secured federal grants and reallocated resources to expand the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) initiative to include transition-age youth and homeless veterans, and locations in West Tennessee. To date, over 270 individuals have been served by IPS and 148 have been placed in employment receiving a competitive wage.
  • Department of Education celebrated the first graduates in May 2015 who received the new Occupational Diploma. A total of 11 students in 4 pilot districts received the diploma and that number is expected to grow significantly for 2015/16.

Professional Development Opportunities for Service Providers

  • As of June 2015, 13 Community Rehabilitation providers from across the state are certified as Employment First participants by DIDD as they commit to shift their services away from the sheltered workshop model to services that promote and support employment in the general workforce as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities.
  • The 2015 Tennessee Disability Mega Conference, an event sponsored by many of the Employment First Task Force members, featured an employment theme throughout the two-day event and was attended by more than 650 individuals with disabilities, families, and professionals
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Date Enacted: