What is the TennesseeWorks Partnership?
TennesseeWorks was formed in 2011 with the goal of strengthening state policies and systems to promote the employment of young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In 2012, we received a Projects of National Significance: Partnerships in Employment Systems Change grant from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to support our efforts. These five-year systems change projects focus on prioritizing employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Who is Involved in the TennesseeWorks Partnership?
TennesseeWorks is a collaboration of agencies and organizations working together to improve employment outcomes for young people with disabilities. The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center serves as the administrative lead for the grant, but it is the collective efforts of all of our partners that will ensure real change happens in our state. In addition to parent support organizations, disability nonprofits, and employment-related agencies, state partners include:
- Department of Children’s Services
- Council on Developmental Disabilities
- Department of Economic and Community Development
- Department of Education
- Department of Health
- Department of Human Services/Vocational Rehabilitation Division
- Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
- Department of Labor and Workforce Development
- Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
- Tennessee Higher Education Commission
What are the Goals of the TennesseeWorks Partnership?
The following goals are driving our work:
- Develop a vibrant, statewide collaborative that spans the length and width of Tennessee
- Strengthen the capacity and commitment of systems, practitioners, employers, families, and community members to deliver best practices that promote competitive employment
- Remove barriers to competitive employment
- Disseminate effective practices and resources deeply in the state
- Implement policies that establish competitive employment as the first and desired choice
- Strengthen data collection efforts and evaluate the extent to which substantial improvements in policies, practices, and employment outcomes are evident statewide
- Engage parents and young people with disabilities in all aspects of our ongoing efforts
- Ensure long-term impact of our efforts