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MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
CONTACT: MILISSA REIERSON
May 14, 2004
(615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
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(615) 308-3705 (CELL)


LABOR DEPARTMENT FORMS EMPLOYER OUTREACH COMMITTEES
First Meeting Today in West Tennessee

NASHVILLE - Tennessee's Department of Labor and Workforce Development announces the formation of the Workforce Employer Outreach Committees (WEOC) across the state. These committees will be made up of local business representatives who will establish and maintain a working relationship between the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the employer community. Members will work in an advisory capacity to improve productivity in the labor exchange function between employers and the department. They will also provide assistance to local Tennessee Career Centers and TDLWD offices.

"A strong partnership between our department and employers contributes to the work environment and helps companies become more aware of department services, issues and new legislation," said Commissioner James Neeley. "On the flipside, our department will benefit as employers bring ideas and concerns from the local business community that will help us identify and meet employment needs."

Helen Cooley will serve as the West Tennessee Program Specialist for the WEOC. Joe Brandon will head up Middle Tennessee and Randy Tyree will head up the East Tennessee region. Cooley formerly worked with the department as an employer relations representative for several years. Brandon previously worked with the Department of Economic and Community Development for a total of nine years under the McWherter and Bredesen Administrations. Tyree is the former mayor of Knoxville and serves as special assistant to the Commissioner.

In addition, Jeffrey D. Thomas, Human Resource Manager for Delta Faucet in Jackson, was recently appointed chairman of the Workforce Employer Outreach Committee for West Tennessee. Thomas has a B.S. Degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Thomas presided over the luncheon/meeting today at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

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ANDREW JOHNSON TOWER, 8TH FLOOR
710 JAMES ROBERTSON PARKWAY
NASHVILLE, TN 37243
615.741.2257