Charlie's AwardCharlie Koon, regional workforce development coordinator for Clarksville-based Workforce Essentials Inc., has received the state’s Outstanding Workforce Services Employee Award for Middle Tennessee.

Each year the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development/Division of Workforce Services and the State Workforce Development Board recognize three “Outstanding Workforce Services Employees” representing West,  Middle and East Tennessee for the program year from July 1 to June 30. The award is given to an employee, in each of the three American Job Center partner regions, who “through their exemplary work has best displayed outstanding service to their customers.” “Consideration was given to attitude, initiative, exceptional work ethic, their relationship with customers and fellow employees, and their ability to relate to the mission,” said Koon’s nomination materials. Nominations from peers were received by Labor & Workforce Development/Division of Workforce Services. The nominations were then reviewed and scored by the State Workforce Board, Opportunities Committee.

“I am honored to be recognized for the work that we are doing here in Montgomery County and Middle Tennessee,” Koon said. “Awards like this are made possible by having great leadership, partnerships and teamwork, which is exactly what we have between Workforce Essentials, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the staff at the American Job Centers here in the Midstate. I am proud to be a part of this outstanding team.”

Koon said the work to extend services to customers, partners and the community continues. “We have also developed a program that is designed to recruit and place transitioning soldiers and their spouses from Fort Campbell in jobs at local and regional businesses and industries. Local partners include Akebono Brakes, Bridges­ tone Metalpha, Hankook Tire, Beretta USA, Dal-Tile, Montgomery County EMS and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department,”Koon said.

“The leadership skills, discipline and training that soldiers acquire during their time in the military make them ideal employees, and we would like to help them find employment in our region,” he said.

Koon was hired as the regional work force development coordinator in June 2014. The newly created position was a joint initiative between the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development and Workforce Essentials.

“In a renewed spirit of cooperation and partnership, Charlie was hired through a joint interview between the agencies so that all stakeholders had a commitment to his workforce success,” said Workforce Essentials President Marla Rye.

“Now a seasoned veteran with 14  months of workforce development experience, Charlie has become indispensable in creating workforce and economic development partnerships.

“Hired to address the workforce needs of the three large economic engines locating in (the Workforce Essentials region), Charlie engineered and fine-tuned his own job description as he worked with Hankook Tire, Dal-Tile and Beretta,” Rye said.

Article provided by Business Editor Jimmy Settle, Leaf Chronicle