WIN matching Memphians with thousands of jobs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

WIN matching Memphians with thousands of jobs

(WMC-TV) - Just two and a half years after the state threatened to take over Memphis' Workforce Investment Network, the program made a big job announcement Sunday.

WIN said they have identified more than 3,000 jobs available in Memphis, and they are working feverishly to place locals in those positions.

"We have estimated there are more than 3,000 manufacturing jobs now and into the next two years," said WIN executive director Desi Franklin.  "We are working hard to make sure that our local folks are going to get those jobs."

Franklin, a Memphis attorney, took over WIN as executive director in 2010.  After a massive career center overhaul, Franklin said the city's job matching service is making strides and solidifying partnerships with 64 area employers.

"By increasing jobs for folks, good jobs, we are going to increase our tax base," said Franklin.  "We're going to increase our economic activity and continue to inspire economic development.

In 2009, the State of Tennessee threatened to take over WIN and withheld $11 million in grants after Summer Youth participants were not paid what they were supposed to get.  WIN is coming up to speed just in time for the relocation of several large manufacturing companies in Memphis.

"We're providing on-the-job training to Mitsubishi, Kruger, Electrolux, and the Great American Steamboat Company," said Franklin.

To get a handle on Memphis' job force, the team took a snapshot of 2,400 job seekers by assessing their reading and math skills.  They found 47 percent functioned below 5th/6th grade, 39 percent were at the 5th/6th grade levels, and 14 percent scored at a 9th/10th grade level.

"We are working on some innovative strategies with Southwest Tennessee Community College as well as University of Memphis and other training providers to adopt best practices used across the country to combine adult education, work readiness and job training," said Franklin.

The goal is to close skill gaps.

WIN also identified the areas of high job demand, including Business Management and Administration, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics.  They want residents to sign up if they meet the proper criteria.

"If you need a job and you're unemployed or under-employed, making less than $15 an hour, you can come to the Career Center," said Franklin.

WIN will assess your skills and show you how to put your resume together and how to interview for a job.

WIN is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  They are located at 444 North Main Street.

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