(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) – Governor Bill Haslam has appointed Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) to the Tennessee Workforce Development Board. The Board’s mission is to foster a competitive economic environment through an innovative and collaborative workforce development system between public and private sectors which promotes Tennessee as a place where people choose to live and work.
“I am honored to serve on this Board and appreciate Governor Haslam’s confidence,” said Senator Norris. “Economic development and a properly trained workforce to sustain it are critically important. I’ve communicated with a number of businesses ready to expand in Tennessee who need qualified employees right away. We are capable of meeting that need, but better communication and coordination between departments, schools and opportunities are key to our success.”
“I look forward to seeing the State continue to partner with local government, higher education and private industry in new ways which help us move forward.”
Norris sponsored legislation passed by the General Assembly this year to facilitate economic growth through workforce development. The Labor and Education Alignment Program (“LEAP”), now Public Chapter 338, lays the foundation for the cooperative effort of government, higher education and businesses looking for skilled workers by providing on-the-job training. It enables the trainee to earn credit toward a certificate or degree and earn income regardless of student financial assistance.
“The mission of the Workforce Development Board dovetails nicely with LEAP’s objectives–making it possible for Tennesseans to work, earn and learn,” Norris continued.
The 36-member Workforce Development Board is appointed by the Governor and consists of the Commissioners of the Tennessee Department of Education, Human Services, Labor, Economic and Community Development, and Employment Security. Other members are chosen from business and industry, organized labor, community-based organizations, and education, as well as representatives of state and local government.
Senator Norris represents the 32nd Senate District in Shelby and Tipton Counties.