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News Release

U.S. Secretary of Labor Scalia Highlights Reentry Grants and American Manufacturing in Tennessee

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he highlighted the Department’s recent announcement of $90 million in grant funding to help individuals who are exiting the justice system re-enter the workforce. In a roundtable discussion with leadership from grant recipient Knoxville Leadership Foundation and other community representatives, Secretary Scalia discussed effective strategies for supporting re-entry to the workforce of those leaving the criminal justice system. He also visited, with Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-2), the Knoxville Leadership Foundation’s KnoxWorx program, which helps individuals gain valuable training and credentials that lead to jobs. 

Secretary Scalia rounded out his trip with a visit to Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Morristown, Tennessee, where he was joined by Congressman Phil Roe (TN-1) for a roundtable discussion with local manufacturers and community leaders. Following the roundtable, Secretary Scalia and Congressman Roe toured the McNeilus Steel manufacturing facility and met with employees.

“As we work to safely re-open our economy, our focus must be on providing opportunities for all Americans to participate in the workforce,” said Secretary Scalia. “Organizations like Knoxville Leadership Foundation and their partners do so by helping those who have served their time in the criminal justice system transition back into their communities and the workforce. Businesses like McNeilus Steel advance opportunity by creating jobs and training workers to fill them. Together, public resources and private sector ingenuity will be catalysts for an American economy even stronger than before.”

“It was an honor to welcome Secretary Scalia to East Tennessee this afternoon and join him in recognizing the Knoxville Leadership Foundation for the work it does in our community,” said Congressman Burchett. “The KnoxWorx program provides individuals exiting the criminal justice system with the skills and knowledge needed to secure and maintain a good-paying job, which is so important to preventing recidivism. I thank the Department of Labor and Secretary Scalia for awarding the Pathway Home grant to the Knoxville Leadership Foundation so it can continue this important work.”

“Manufacturing is one of the backbones of our economy in Northeast Tennessee,” said Congressman Roe. “I am proud to welcome Secretary Scalia to our district to see the good work our manufacturers are doing and to discuss with them the opportunities and challenges they face. Our country has a tough road ahead, but I am encouraged to know that Secretary Scalia and DOL are working to ensure that businesses and workers have the resources they need during this coronavirus pandemic.”

Office of the Secretary
July 14, 2020
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Media Contact: Emily Weeks
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