Davis Picked to Direct Labor Department

Press Release from Bill Haslam, Gov.-elect of the State of Tennessee, Jan. 14, 2011:

Memphian’s Career Shows Hands-On Experience with Workforce Issues

NASHVILLE– Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam named Karla Davis as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Since 2006, Davis has been Director of Urban Strategies Memphis Hope, managing and overseeing the Community and Supportive Services Program for three U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOPE VI public housing redevelopment projects and two HUD ROSS Grant projects in Memphis.

Davis previously worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 16 years, rising to become an Environmental Justice program manager covering six states. As program manager at the EPA, she focused on environmental and human health improvements and community revitalization in distressed urban areas.

“Karla Davis brings an outstanding record of accomplishment and management skill to the Cabinet, and I’m looking forward to working with her to help Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “Her focus on helping to revive communities and families shows her commitment to making our state a better place, and I’m honored she is a part of the team.”

Davis is Chair of the Tennessee Local Workforce Investment Area 13 Youth Council and a member of the Memphis City Beautiful Commission and Shelby County Families First Advisory Council. For the last three years, she has been a member of the Annual Grants Committee for the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and she’s a member of Leadership Memphis’s Class of 2009.

“I’m honored to accept this appointment, and I’m thrilled to serve Tennesseans,” Davis said. “I look forward to working with the great staff at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Many challenges face our state and our workforce, and I know we can work together to affect positive change in Tennessee.”

Davis has a bachelor’s in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She and her husband, Terence, reside in Memphis, Tenn.