FEBRUARY 24, 2006
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NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is proud to announce that several integral partners in the state’s workforce development system have been recognized and awarded recognition by The Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. The awards were presented last night at the 13th annual Awards Banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Division of Adult Education, the Tennessee Career Center Cumberland County and the Lincoln County Adult Education have received Commitment Level Recognition for their work with Tennessee’s Baldrige-based award program.

Additionally, the Tennessee Career Center Johnson City, Tennessee Career Center University Avenue (Knoxville), Tennessee Career Center Cookeville, Tennessee Career Center Athens, Tennessee Career Center Chattanooga, Tennessee Career Center Dyersburg, Carter County AE, Memphis City Schools AE, Trousdale County AE, READ Chattanooga and Chattanooga State Community College have received Interest Level Recognition.

The Center, through its annual evaluation and assessment process, recognizes organizations that have achieved the highest standards of excellence in their operations and results. The program uses the Criteria for Performance Excellence established by the Baldrige National Quality Program as the evaluation tool.

Since the Center’s creation in 1993, more than 1,000 organizations have progressed through one or more levels of achievement. A Board of Examiners made up of 100 experts in business, education, health care and government assessed this year’s applicants in seven categories: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results.

Awards are presented in four categories: Interest Recognition (the beginning level), Commitment, Achievement, and the highest level – the Excellence Award.

“The quest for excellence distinguishes Tennessee as a place where businesses flourish, consistently high standards are set and attained, and a skilled, competent workforce is ready for future challenges,” Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen said. “Winners of the Tennessee Excellence Award not only reach the highest national and international performance standards in their industries year after year – they set them. I am proud to offer my congratulations to all of these companies that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence. The employees of each of these organizations are to be commended for having set and met the standards for quality performance that reflect positively on our state.”

“Excellence implies more than competence,” said Katie Rawls, president of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. “It means striving for the highest possible standards. The 2005 Award winners represent the best and have done a great service by setting high standards for others to follow. I applaud their accomplishments.”

“To date 88 of the Tennessee’s 92 Adult Education programs and 9 of the 15 Comprehensive Career Centers have received some level or recognition through the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence,” said Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley. “Our team strives for the best in customer service and we will continue to do so in the future.”

*Photos can be e-mailed upon request; e-mail

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