State Initiative Helps Perry County Achieve Job Recovery

Thursday, July 16, 2009 | 09:42 am

Recovery Act Creates 460 New Jobs, Resources Allocated for 50 More

NASHVILLE - Governor Phil Bredesen announced state and local governments have reached the initial goal to employ 300 residents of Perry County using federal dollars provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Currently, 304 positions have been filled that include government and private sector employment. In addition, 156 Perry County residents between the ages of 14 and 24 are participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program. The statewide program, also funded by Recovery Act dollars, provides summer employment and job training opportunities to low-income residents. This program continues through August 7th.
"The effect of this effort is significant, and I appreciate the coordination of state and local governments with private employers in Perry County," Bredesen said. "I’m also extremely pleased this work will continue with the allocation of additional resources to create 50 more jobs in Perry County."
The Tennessee Department of Human Services has allocated additional Recovery Act funds to create 50 more jobs in Perry County and is working with Career Center staff and participating employers to fill them. To date 596 Perry County residents have met income and asset requirements to be eligible for most of these positions.
The Tennessee Department of Labor hired 14 local residents to operate a call center at the Career Center in Perry County. Labor Department Commissioner James Neeley says the new employees will process unemployment insurance claims filed over the Internet.
“These employees in particular can relate to the needs of an unemployed county resident,” said Neeley. “That serves us and the individual well because they understand what that person is going through.”
With 740 unemployed residents, Perry County had the highest rate of unemployment in May at 24.6 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Perry County had the fifth highest county unemployment rate in the nation. County unemployment figures released at the end of July will be the first to reflect job gains from this effort.
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