The Workfirst TN program has been an exciting and challenging program for the last 4 ½ years. It began with the uncertainty and fear revolving around the new performance-based contracting methodology. As expected, the Workforce Essentials staff rose to the expectations and quickly adapted to the new methodology. It wasn’t long before we moved up the WPR charts and were in the elite ranks! All aspects of the company grew tremendously over the life of the grant and adapted quickly to the expanded scope including the administrative and performance management departments
Over the last nine months, we have anticipated the future of the program and the direction that DHS would take at the end of the five year contract. We learned and communicated to you that DHS had elected to extend the current contracts for a twelve month period to June 30, 2013. However, DHS completely obviated the performance based contract methodology and will implement a fixed unit price contact. The reduction of federal funding necessitated this change to the more stable and budget friendly fixed price contract.
We were delighted to have the contract for an additional year. However, as we began digesting the consequences of the stipulated 40% budget cut, we soon realized that hard decisions were going to have to be made to balance the budget. As a leader, downsizing is one of the toughest challenges to face especially when you are in the workforce development business. While difficult to do, the Board and our management team are responsible for the long-term viability of the company. We know the company’s success was derived from your loyalty and commitment. We intent to proceed with taking the necessary steps to insure the company continues to thrive. Over the next few weeks we will begin to roll out our plan to implement the Families First program under the new guidelines.