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80 Years Ago

Archives 12-28-2005


UCHRA delivers more than $2 million in services
Industrial park receives $850,000 federal grant
Unemployment rises slightly in Overton County



UCHRA delivers more than $2 million in services

courtesy of UCHRA
Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency presents a check for $2,070,235, representing services to be rendered over the next year to Overton County. On hand for the presentation are, from left, Hosea Winningham, Pat Callahan, Phyllis Bennett, Bill Needham, Kenneth Copeland, Millard Oakley, Dian Dillon, Bob Craighead, Frank Martin, Robbie Hancock, and Robbie Melton.

Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) and a selected group of county leaders recently met to form and organize the Overton County Advisory Board. To demonstrate the services to the county over the next year, a check was presented for $2,070,235.

During a working luncheon, an overview of UCHRA was provided and feedback was received from the county's leaders. They include Overton County Mayor Kenneth Copeland, Advisory Board Chairman Bill Needham, Hosea Winningham, Robbie Melton, John Roberts, Millard Oakley, Livingston Mayor Frank Martin, and Overton County Coordinator Dian Dillon.

Phyllis Bennett, executive director of UCHRA, said, "The feedback we received was better than we could have ever expected."

Bennett also said, "Several years ago we started a program unique to human resource agencies. We set up satellite offices in each of the 14 counties in the Upper Cumberland region.

"This local connection is invaluable to truly understanding the counties' needs and has made the UCHRA a leader in the delivery of services.

"Newly formed advisory boards will provide an extension of that approach by providing greater community awareness and resource development to meet the unmet needs of residents in Overton County."

Each advisory board member was recommended by county and state leaders whom UCHRA works with on a daily basis. They are selected because they provide one or more specific skills necessary to public awareness and community involvement of UCHRA.

One of the major functions of the board is to identify needs in the county and then help match resources to best meet those needs. This outreach to the counties is designed to make more efficient use of state, local, and federal aid.

The timing of these boards was prompted by potential federal cutbacks in programs across the board. Programs that could be affected include Head Start, Meals on Wheels, Senior Nutrition, and Home Weatherization Assistance.

Soaring fuel costs also affect every program, but none more so than the Transportation Program (UCARTS) and the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

"We know there are still unmet needs, and it breaks our hearts," Bennett said.

"In light of potential federal budget constraints, our waiting lists will only grow larger. A greater effort in fundraising and community awareness is crucial.

Overton County Mayor Kenneth Copeland said, "I thought I was aware of the many services provided by the UCHRA, but I learned that the agency touches three out of five lives in our county, in one way or another."

UCHRA operates some 63 programs in 14 counties across the Upper Cumberland and oversees a budget that this year exceeds $25 million.

Advisory Board Chairman Bill Needham said, "The UCHRA is a wonderful partner for our county. I have seen them time and again bring people out of dependence on the system and help them gain independence and a better quality of life. I am proud to serve on the board."

Governor Bredesen has been a part of the process and stated, "In my travels across the state of Tennessee and in Overton County, I've made great friends and strong working partnerships with County Mayor Kenneth Copeland, UCHRA Advisory Board members, and established community leaders.

"Government works best at the grassroots level where the needs are truly known. And when there is a need in the Upper Cumberland, it has been my experience that Phyllis Bennett and the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) are the community's staunchest advocate."

Bennett said, "We are excited about the response of this initiative, and we know with the help of Governor Bredesen, these great people from Overton County, and the competent staff of the UCHRA we can accomplish these goals and help more citizens of the county."

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Industrial park receives $850,000 federal grant

Overton County and the town of Livingston will receive an $850,000 grant from U.S. Department of Commerce to improve water and sewer systems serving the new Overton County Industrial Park, according to U.S. Representative Bart Gordon.

"This funding will allow the county to make needed infrastructure improvements for the industrial park, which will bring good jobs to Overton County residents," said Gordon, dean of the state's congressional delegation.

"A community that's serious about economic development has to have good schools, reliable utilities, and sound infrastructure in place. Top-notch companies that pay good wages demand these things when looking for communities in which to locate."

County officials say the addition of utilities will allow them to recruit businesses to the industrial park and develop surrounding properties for commercial use.

Overton County Mayor Kenneth Copeland said, "This will provide a big boost to Overton and Putnam counties. We'll be able to attract good jobs for our residents, and that allows for a better quality of life."

Copeland added that the planning stage is nearing completion. Work on the water and sewer improvements should begin in the summer of 2006.

Earlier this year, Gordon helped to secure $300,000 in federal funding for an access road for the new Overton County Industrial Park.

"I am pleased to work with local, state, and federal officials to make sure the community has the resources it needs to be a desirable place to live and raise a family," Gordon said.

"Residents of Livingston and Overton County are fortunate to have good schools, a good business community, and an enviable quality of life."

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Unemployment rises slightly in Overton County

Overton County's unemployment rate went up .5% in November, rising from 5.4% to 5.9%.

Overton County had 580 unemployed of a workforce of 9,810.

Tennessee's seasonally adjusted November unemployment rate was 5.8%, up from the October revised rate of 5.6%. County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for November show 76 counties increased, 13 decreased, and 6 remained the same.

Overton County is included in the Cookeville Micropolitan Statistical Area along with Jackson County and Putnam County. The Cookeville MSA had an increase from 5.2% to 5.4 in the unemployment rate. The MSA had 2,660 unemployed of a workforce of 48,940.

Jackson County's unemployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.7%. Jackson had 410 unemployed of a workforce of 5,320.

Putnam County's unemployment rate went up from 4.8 to 5%. Putnam had 1,680 unemployed of a workforce of 33,820.

Clay County held the state's highest unemployment rate at 14%, up from 13.3 in October. Clay had 500 unemployed of a workforce of 3,580.

Pickett County's unemployment rate went up 1.3%, rising from 6.6 to 7.9. Pickett had 150 unemployed of a workforce of 1,930.

Fentress County's unemployment rate remained at 6.5%. Fentress had 470 unemployed of a workforce of 7,250.

For complete labor force estimates go to www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/november2005county.pdf.

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