Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act

For additional information on LWIOA-11 please visit

The purpose of the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act is to prepare eligible Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth for entry into the labor market. Utilizing an integrated workforce system through our Career Center partners, training providers, and employers, we are able to assist with training, job referrals, and job placement to meet the needs of job seekers and employers.

Gary Damon, Jr., Ed.D.

Gary Damon Jr, Ed.D. serves as Executive Director of WIOA with SWHRA starting August 5, 2019. In his previous roles Dr. Damon served as NYS Senior Site Director for the Center for Employment Opportunities in Buffalo, New York and Adjunct Professor at Medaille College. In addition, he served on several boards within his community, most recent American Red Cross, Western New York Region and Empower, a health and human services agency.
Dr. Damon earned his Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and English from Niagara University, received his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College, and his Doctorate of Education in Transformational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. Dr. Damon is an avid world traveler, enjoys biking and walking trails, and local coffee shops and eateries.

SWHRA WIOA Department

Front row left to right: Lucy Locke, April Brown, Kena Hamm
Back row left to right: Tim Carothers, Merita Stone, Jimmy Bell

As part of the new guidelines for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, all LWDAs were required to complete and submit an RFP for a One-Stop Operator and Services Delivery. Through that process, Southwest Tennessee Development District was awarded the contract for these services. That contract began July 1, 2017 and will be in effect through June 30, 2018 with an option to renew for up to three years. Their contact information is:

102 East College Street
Jackson, TN 38301
Phone: (731)668-7112 Fax: (731)668-6421
TDD: 1-800-484-0298


Adult Program

The Adult Program assists adults entering or re-entering the workforce with services including core and intensive services, job training, support services, and On-The-Job (OJT) training. Other services are also available through the partners at the Tennessee Career Centers located throughout our area.

Jones Lumber Company in Henderson offered Edmund Thomas his second chance by partnering with WIA's On-the-Job Training program.


Career Readiness Certificate

The Career Readiness Certificate Program helps workers earn a Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) based on Workkeys assessments. The nationally recognized certificate demonstrates to potential employers that the certificate holder has the basic workplace skills required for 21st century jobs.

Dislocated Worker

With services similar to the Adult Program, the Dislocated Worker Program targets workers who lost their job through no fault of their own due to permanent layoff or closure of a business, plant, or enterprise.

Incumbent Worker Funding

LWIA-11 utilized Incumbent Worker funding (special funding designed to assist employers in upgrading the skills of their current employees) from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development to assist four employers in our area.

Senior Community Service Employment Program

Beginning in 2011, LWIA-11 began administering the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in Chester, Hardeman, Hardin, and McNairy Counties. In 2013, we began administering the program in Haywood, Madison, Henderson, and Decatur Counties as well. The program provides job training and placement for people with limited financial resources who are age 55 or older and provides employers with trained, motivated workers.

Summer Youth Program

The Summer Youth Program involves youth in our eight county service area. Youth are provided with classroom activities to learn soft skills, job shadowing opportunities, and paid work experience.

Revosea Richardson spent last summer as an engineering intern at Monogram, LLC in Selmer.


Youth Program

The Youth Program includes two major components: younger youth and older youth. The younger youth (in-school program) includes the JSCC Next Step Program, McNairy County Schools Program, and Dual Enrollment Programs that allow high school students to earn college credits. The older youth (out of school) includes various services such as GED preparation, work readiness classes, work experience, occupational skills training, advanced training, and job placement.


Inside/Out Dad

Working in conjunction with county officials, SWHRA has implemented a Fatherhood program that provides incarcerated fathers basic needs to prosper outside of jail. The program’s design is to equip fathers with the necessary skills to find employment while improving their overall parenting skills, as well as addressing other issues as identified. The initial goal of SWHRA was to establish a Fatherhood pilot program in two counties McNairy and Hardin. In the near future, the expectation is to expand the program to the remaining counties served by SWHRA.

  Approximately 700,000 inmates are released from State and Federal prison each year. Of those released, about two-thirds re-offend within three years. This program is designed to assist those being released with the Responsible Parenting skills and Economic Stability they need to be successful fathers and employees.

Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act staff will provide case management for the identified participants. Approximately fifteen agencies and organizations have been identified as possible partners in this endeavor. That collaboration will be a key factor in the success of the Fatherhood program.

Southwest Human Resource Agency is proud to announce that this pilot program is up and running in McNairy County.

RFP for Economic Study in West Tennessee 2019

Where Are We?

Where are we image map...

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...

read more