Employment First Strategic Plan Lays Out Path Forward to Improve Employment Outcomes for Tennesseans with Disabilities

June 1, 2015 - |
April 2015 EF Task Force

photo credit: DIDD

The Governor’s Employment First Task Force has unveiled a Three-Year Strategic Plan outlining a vision for the state on improving employment outcomes for Tennesseans with disabilities. As a guiding principle for the task force and strategic plan, Employment First means that employment in the general workforce should be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities receiving assistance from publicly funded systems. The Plan includes five strategic goals and identified steps towards achieving those goals over the next three years.

The Task Force was created by Executive Order 28 signed in July of 2013 to research barriers and recommend strategies to increase employment for Tennesseans with disabilities. It is comprised of state agencies, family members, consumer advocates, and service providers. Since August 1, 2013, the Task Force has been meeting quarterly. In collaboration with the TennesseeWorks Partnership, Task Force workgroups have focused on the areas of policy, providers, individuals with disabilities and families, and data.

The five strategic goals in the recently released Three-Year Strategic Plan are as follows:

Strategic Goal 1: Align service delivery systems and strengthen coordination to increase employment opportunities for Tennesseans with disabilities.

Strategic Goal 2: Build shared community commitment to “employment first” for individuals with disabilities.

Strategic Goal 3: Increase the number of businesses and employers throughout the state who actively seek and hire individuals with disabilities.

Strategic Goal 4:  Make Tennessee a model public sector employer through actions to employ more people with disabilities and through policy and regulatory change.

Strategic Goal 5: Prepare students for employment throughout their education and connect them to essential services.

Click here to download a PDF version of the strategic plan
Click here to download a Word version of the strategic plan