New website aims to help Memphians find employment - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New website aims to help Memphians find employment

Jim Strickland (Right) and Bill Haslam (Left) (Source: WMC Action News 5) Jim Strickland (Right) and Bill Haslam (Left) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

There are hundreds of opportunities for jobs or even to expand your education all thanks to the Memphis: Opportunity City initiative. 

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam made their rounds at several churches Sunday to spread the gospel about a new initiative to connect people to opportunities in the city.

Opportunity Memphis is a new website pooling together resources. Strickland says there are currently more than 15,000 open jobs.

"Over 9,000 pay a livable wage, which in Memphis is $12.50, and over 6,000 of them pay over $15 an hour," Strickland said.

The mayor boasted specifically about the free Tennessee College of Applied Technology training for airplane mechanics. 

"It takes 18 months and you get a certificate. You start at FedEx, and they hire them every year. Your starting salary is $56,000 a year. Your second year you're making $72,000 a year. That's a lot of money in Memphis, Tennessee," Strickland said.

Haslam says not enough people are aware of Tennessee Promise--the state's offer of free community college for anyone with a high school diploma.

"If you're in high school, you have a counselor telling you about it, but if you're a single mother with two kids, you may not know about it, and we're here today, with you all's help, to make sure everyone knows about that," Haslam said.

They even have a section to help people with criminal backgrounds.

"We've created a fund that raised over $70,000 to help people expunge their records for free. We've helped over 125 people expunge their record," Strickland said.

Both Strickland and Haslam said that Memphis: Opportunity City is a step towards creating a better city.

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