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December 20, 2004  
Milissa Reierson -TDLWD
615.741.2257 (O) 615.308.3705 (C)
Randy Harris-Military
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Labor & Workforce Development Teams with Army National Guard to Assist Deployed Soldiers’ Families

NASHVILLE — The International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP), which is an association of the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Rich Foods, and the Tennessee National Guard are teaming up to distribute free holiday food to approximately 1,000 families affected by the recent mobilizations of the Tennessee Guard.

Each year, the International Association of Workforce Professionals focuses on specific groups of Tennesseans to provide free food for the holidays. This year, because of the dramatic impact the mobilizations have on families left at home, they have selected the Tennessee National Guard.

Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley is a member of the IAWP and helped distribute the food today. “I am proud of what the IAWP is doing in Middle Tennessee, especially this time of year. It is important to remember our veterans and those still serving in Iraq,” said Neeley.

“This is an outstanding way for the IAWP and the Department of Labor & Workforce Development to show their support for our Tennessee soldiers and their families,” said Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, Tennessee’s Adjutant General. “I want to personally thank Commissioner Neeley and everyone who has worked so hard on this great project.”

A dozen trucks full of holiday food were loaded at 10:00 this morning at the Army National Guard hangar at the Smyrna Airport. The food was delivered to National Guard armories in Ashland City, Columbia, Dickson, Gallatin, Lebanon, Smyrna and Springfield for distribution to the families.

IAWP state chapter president Harold Moore has organized the holiday food giveaway for the past four years. “This is a great opportunity for us to help those who are protecting our freedom. We want to help warm the hearts of those families who miss their loved ones serving our country,” said Moore.

The nonprofit International Association of Workforce Professionals works toward helping the community in projects such as this one. The organization also works to protect state employees and establish scholarship funds to promote education.