State of Tennessee Press Release, April 8, 2010:
Program Targets County with Fifth Highest Unemployment Rate
NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced a plan to reduce unemployment in Scott County by putting up to 150 people back to work using federal dollars available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Scott County has had one of the state’s highest unemployment rates – 18.3 percent in February – and includes 1,540 currently unemployed residents.
“We are continuing to place emphasis on targeted jobs packages that create employment opportunities in some of our hardest-hit counties,” said Bredesen. “Putting people back to work is one of the primary goals of the Recovery Act and I’m pleased the state can bring this assistance to Scott County residents impacted by the economic downturn.”
The 150 positions include government and private sector employment opportunities that will be funded through September 2010 by Recovery Act dollars allocated to the Tennessee Department of Human Services. These positions include 50 highway maintenance worker positions within the Tennessee Department of Transportation and 100 positions that will be filled primarily by private sector companies seeking to hire additional staff.
Residents of Scott County must meet certain income and asset requirements to be eligible for these positions. To be eligible, a family’s income cannot be greater than 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($2,030/month for a family of three; $2,444/month for a family of four), and their liquid resources cannot exceed $2,000. In addition, residents must have a child younger than 18-years old living in their household.
“This jobs package will put people back to work and provide some much-needed assistance to Scott County residents who are struggling during these difficult times,” said Scott County Rep. Les Winningham. “We are pleased to partner with Governor Bredesen in this effort.”
A job fair for Scott County residents will be held Tuesday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Scott County Office Building located at 2845 Baker Highway. Those interested in the job creation program who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to attend the job fair where they will have the opportunity to view a list of available positions and complete an application for employment.
This is the second job creation program announced by Governor Bredesen this week. A jobs package for Marshall County was announced April 7. Both the Scott County and Marshall County jobs packages are similar to the program announced in May 2009 for Perry County, which, at the time, had the state’s highest rate of unemployment. More than 400 unemployed individuals found jobs as a result of that effort. At the Perry County announcement, Bredesen stated his desire to make this a model that could be implemented in other high unemployment counties and subsequently announced similar programs in Lauderdale and Hancock counties.
Scott County residents who need unemployment assistance can contact the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, located at 180 Eli Lane in Oneida, or call (423) 569-9348.