TDHS 2Gen having positive impact on East Tennessee

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Department of Human Services released their plan for the $732 million surplus dollars in the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) block grant program Tuesday. Part of their plan includes investing more than $84 milion in Two Generation grants.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley received $900,000 over the last three years from the G2 grant.

Polly Johnson, Director of Education and Workforce Development Programs, including Youth Force.

Youth Force is the title of their workforce development program. It aims to have them all college or career ready when they graduate.

The program starts off with a 12-hour, paid, soft skills training internship. When a student graduates from that portion, they’re able to advance to a first job ready internship program. It’s also a paid, 60-hour, program where students have the chance to earn work experiences at surrounding businesses.

“We want to get teenagers off the streets. We want to make sure that they have skills. we want to make sure they understand different types of careers, financial literacy, resume writing, interviewing skills and those type of things,” Johnson said.

The grant funding also pays for staffing for technical training camp. It exposes them to careers in the fields of nursing, welding, cyber security, criminal justice, engineering, culinary, and cosmetology. Their parents, by the way, have the same opportunity to attend the camps.

“We’re changing families. We’re giving our young people and their families the opportunity for something more, something different.”

The last internship, called career ready, and offers students 150 hours paid.
TDHS Commissioner Danielle Barnes wrote the surplus is attributed to “unprecedented growth in our state’s economy,” meaning fewer people qualify for TANF benefits.

TANF provides temporary cash assistance, transportation, child care assistance, educational support, job training, employment activities, among other services, to promote employment around the state.


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