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Tennessee Works Partnership

The Tennessee Works Partnership connects employment efforts across the state among the various state agencies, universities, service providers, community organizations, families and self-advocates working to advance employment for people with disabilities. The Council helped launch this partnership, which was spearheaded by our TN Developmental Disabilities Network partners at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.

Work through TennesseeWorks was led by a grant from the Administration on Community Living; while the grant funding concluded in Sept. 2017, the Partnership remains intact and the work to improve employment outcomes for Tennesseans with disabilities continues. For more information, visit

Purpose of this collaborative

  1. Work collectively to implement new policies that firmly establish and consistently communicate competitive, integrated employment as the first and desired choice
  2. Strengthen and integrate data collection efforts across state agencies to guide policy revisions, inform training and resource development decisions, and enable more targeted evaluation of the group’s efforts
  3. Deploy an innovative, multi-tiered approach for connecting families and educators in every county to accessible and practical resources, needed training, and individualized supports
  4. Maintain the TennesseeWorks Partnership and implement work teams.

Outcomes of this initiative

  • Employment First Executive Order signed by Governor Haslam.
  • Establishment of a longitudinal data system.
  • Establishment of the Transition Tennessee web training and resource portal for educators, families and other stakeholders
  • Website, e-newsletter and social media presence
  • Parent Coalitions in Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga
  • Research on families and providers, especially around expectations for employment