Message from the Executive Director

January 2019

Dear Friends,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to our website. I hope you will find information that is helpful. Please feel free to contact any of our staff who will be glad to assist you.
SWHRA Head Start served a total of 614 families and 659 three and four year old children in 31 classrooms. Our qualified staff met all readiness goals and showed significant gains throughout the year. Ninety six percent of the 31 Head Start Teachers now have obtained a college degree in Early Childhood Education.
Our Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act continue to meet the needs of employers all over West Tennessee. The Youth Work Experience Program in partnership with the City of Jackson and Madison County Juvenile Court System helped 40 at risk youth gain work experience this summer. The WIOA program is designed to assist those who are unemployed or underemployed and strives to help employers find and train those employees who will make their business successful.
SWHRA public transportation logged over 2 million miles this past year and our highly trained staff continues to provide that pleasant experience for more than 20,000 people who choose to use our transportation services. SWHRA was awarded a 3 million dollar grant that will be used to purchase 80 new vans. A special word of thanks to our congressional partners who made it possible for SWHRA to receive these additional funds.
Southwest HRA operates the Southwest TN Community Development Corporation to secure funds to improve housing for our service area. We also own 35 rental properties designed to meet the needs of low and moderate income families and people with special needs. Our  Central Kitchen continues to grow and provide healthy delicious meals in 11 counties through the Meals on Wheels, Head Start, Summer Food Service, and now the At-Risk After School program.
The Senior Services Department is a multi-service department developed to serve homebound elderly and disabled. Senior Services has expanded its service area to include Fayette, Lauderdale and Tipton counties for the Social Services Block Grant and Nutrition services. The W.C. Lewis Foundation gifted the SWHRA Nutrition Program with an $89,000 donation last year to be used to expand services to seniors.
With our 400 plus employees we are able to assist many people in reaching their goal of self-sufficiency. Our continued emphasis on employee health and safety has allowed the agency to reduce Workers' Compensation claims by more than 60% since 2015. We also enhanced our employee benefits by offering 401K and 457 deferred compensation plans through the State of Tennessee.
Our agency is blessed to have an outstanding Fiscal Department that manages over 75 state or federal grant contracts. This past year we continued to improve internal controls and strengthen our accounts payable and receivables process. I am proud to report that our agency once again received a clean audit with no findings or questioned cost.
We are truly fortunate to have a very engaged Policy Council that attends meetings, provide excellent oversight, and shares their visions to make our part of Southwest Tennessee the very best it can be.

Mike Smith, Executive Director
Southwest Human Resource Agency

Where Are We?

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The Tennessee General Assembly established Southwest Human Resource Agency (SWHRA) in 1973 as one of nine Human Resource Agencies deemed to be the delivery system for human services throughout the state of Tennessee. SWHRA is a public non-profit agency that serves an eight county region including Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, McNairy and Madison counties...

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