searchlight december 2014

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Searchlight is a quarterly newsletter for employees of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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  • InsideFeature story Flashback: 50 years with Employment Security

    Live, local, on the go - Tennessee apps 4-5

    Flashback: 50 Years ago with ES 6-7

    Frozen Turkey? 8

    Snapshot 9-11

    VOS Goes Live 12-13

    Paychecks for Patriots 14-15

    A not-so-governmental approach to 16-17serving employers

    Say What? Worst Holiday Gift 18-19

    State Holidays and Office Closures 20

    Commendations 21-23

    State Perks 24

    Employer Contacts 25

    New Hires and Promotions 26

  • *Special thanks to State Photographer Dawn Majors

  • Flashback: 50 years ago with Employment SecurityWere pleased to spotlight Richard Upchurch, longtime counselor in the Nashville American Job Center, who just completed 50 years employment with the department.

    When Richard, a new graduate of UT-Knoxville, began with the then-Department of Employment Security in 1964, the country was in the midst of a decade of social change. Lyndon Johnson was president, and his administration spawned a spate of social programs and initiatives.

    SL: Talk a little about the social and political landscape of the 1960s when you started with Employment Security.RU: President Johnson, LBJ - himself politically the product of President Franklin D. Roosevelts massive attempt 30 years earlier to bring the country out of the Great Depression by a collection of initiatives and programs known as the New Deal - came up with his updated version of something similar. President Johnson continued the tone of the predecessor Kennedy administration to address the problems of poverty and disadvantage during his own administration in the early and mid-60s - these Johnson administration programs to be known as the Great Society. The states joined in, especially those state programs mandated, funded, or assisted by the federal government . . . and of course our agency, Employment Security, was one of them.

    SL: How did the application and referral process work?RU: Each interviewer kept orders for given job classifications, and if you were trying to place an applicant, many times you would need to go to the interviewer who had orders on his desk in that classification. Job applications, known as 511s, were all coded from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and filed according to primary and secondary codes.

    SL: Putting young people into job training or to work was emphasized during the late 60s and into the 70s. How did federal programs with that goal affect how the department operated back then?RU: A year or so after I started, a jovial, peppery little man appeared on the ground floor where I was working and we - all the new counselors that had undergone special training over on the Fisk campus and a few others as well - would follow him to our new office on Hayes Street, to be known as the Youth Opportunity Center, one of several established in metropolitan areas back then to serve 16-to-21-year-olds. It was kind of made for young idealists of the day, and I guess I was one of them. Now we had a place and

    It was kind of made for young idealists of the day, and I guess I was one of them.

    Richard Upchurch - Employment Security Youth Opportunity Center employee in Nashville, Tennessee, April 1970

    6 Searchlight

  • a manager and a missions - just do what you can with the full support of the national and state and local governments to help as many poor folks get out of the prison of poverty as we could by job placement, job training, special job opportunities created to put them to work in the local communities and also the Job Corps.

    SL: Providing intense, one-on-one assistance to job applicants - particularly the younger ones who were making career choices or adjusting to jobs they had - was emphasized so during the 60s and 70s that some select new employees with the department recently out of college were sent back to school to get masters degrees in counseling. Richard was one who was chosen for that program, which funded college expenses as well as the departmental salaries for those in the program during the nine months or so they were away at school. Richard earned his masters in counseling at MTSU.

    RU: Job Corps was what I spent a lot of my time on back then - putting up posters, speaking at community centers (not to mention a few pool rooms), handling paperwork, getting parents signatures, swearing them in, putting them on planes, often to go sometimes all the way across the country for GED and job training in the Job Corps Centers. From the poor neighborhood to get on the enormous silver bird to fly to somewhere unknown, far away, did take a measure of fortitude, but the kids did it . . . although quite a few did not stay long. At least one old country boy recruited perhaps earnestly but a bit unwisely in a nearby rural county walked all the way home from a Job Corps Center up in Kentucky, probably an extreme case of culture

    shock. One guy I put into the Job Corps in the 60s learned welding and did that for a while; he now drives for a wealthy businessman. He always tells me he is available for any kind of work I need him for and has about 20 grandchildren compared to my one (so far).

    The career centers - local offices, we called them - had ERRs (employer relations representatives - forerunners of todays public relations specialists) who solicited orders from employers. As now, there were veterans representatives; their functions were emphasized in the wake of the military actions in Vietnam, as they would be after U.S. military actions in Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

    Richards reminiscences span 50 years, and many are snapshots of the social culture of the times. Federal workforce development programs have seen iterations during successive administrations: many of us remember MDTA,CETA, JTPA . . . and most recently the Stimulus Program of the current administration. As social programs have been curtailed or expanded, and we have become increasingly reliant on automation and technology, a strong objective of the public employment service remains - to meet the changing demands of the workforce by supplying qualified workers.

    It was kind of made for young idealists of the day, and I guess I was one of them.

    Searchlight 7

  • Frozen Turkey? A practical recipe requiring an internal audit of your own.

    Chris Risher Director of Internal Audit in Nashville

    Chris Rishers No Sweat Turkey Prep Recipe

    1. Use a fresh or thawed turkey. [I thawed two turkeys, which were breast only and weighted around 7 pounds each.] 2. Season the turkeys with Mortons All Natural Seasoning Mix, some thyme, and a half stick of butter into the cavity. I placed the seasoning between the skin and meat. I placed the turkeys (breast-side down) on a rack, which went into a disposable aluminum pan. You can add some liquid or vegetables to the bottom of the pan, if you want. I also sprayed the turkeys and rack with non-stick cooking spray (i.e. Pam). 3. Smoke the turkeys at 350 degrees until the internal temperature reading reaches at least 165 degrees. After around 2 hours, I wrapped the turkeys with aluminum foil. 4. Once the turkeys are cooked, remove the turkeys from the smoker and allow them to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. If you did not wrap the turkeys in aluminum foil earlier, then wrap them in aluminum foil. 5. After allowing them to rest, remove the meat from the bone and place into a Ziploc bag(s) and put the meat into the refrigerator. 6. After around at least 12 hours, place the Ziploc bags with the turkey meat into the freezer. 7. The day before serving the turkey, remove the turkey from the freezer and place into the refrigerator.

    8. Shortly before serving the turkey, slice the turkey and pour boiling hot chicken stock (including spices if wanted) over the turkey.

    8 Searchlight

  • SnapshotLOOK AT WHAT YOUR FELLOW EMPLOYEES ARE UP TO

    Oscar Frederick winner of theMetal/Nonmetal National

    Champion for Novice teams

    Walter Wyatt and Elaine Shank using an innovative approach

    to meet employers in Crossville

    Chattanooga Career Center Angela Lawrence holding her M.A.S.H.

    medal for providing job readiness skills and employment

    opportunities to Vets

    Denise Carrus climbing rock walls at

    The Lift in Jackson

  • Susie Bourque (third from right on back row) with

    fellow Employment First Task Force members and Governor Haslam

    Knoxville WIA and Career Center staff wearing pink in honor of

    WIA staff Elaine Reagan, who is a breast cancer survivor

    Central Office TREAT Team member Sharyn Pelych leads a

    WEOC presentation to employers in Chattanooga

    Deputy Swayne barbecuing at the Central Office

    Backlog Cookout

    10 Searchlight

  • Susie Bourque (third from right on back row) with

    fellow Employment First Task Force members and Governor Haslam

    Knoxville WIA and Career Center staff wearing pink in honor of

    WIA staff Elaine Reagan, who is a breast cancer survivor

    Central Office TREAT Team member Sharyn Pelych leads a

    WEOC presentation to employers in Chattanooga

    Deputy Swayne barbecuing at the Central Office

    Backlog Cookout

    Searchlight 11

  • 12 Searchlight

  • Searchlight 13

  • 14 Searchlight

  • Third annual Paychecks for Patriots connects veterans with major Tennessee employers.

    More than 200 employers, including Dollar General, Fed Ex, Jack Daniels, Gibson Guitar, Eastman, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Vanderbilt University, Amazon, Bridgestone, and Lowes, gathered in 10 locations across Tennessee this year to interview veterans f

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