The National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe program may soon expand to Tennessee.
The Tennessee Department of the Military recently filed an application to bring the Youth ChalleNGe program to Nashville. If the application is accepted, preliminary plans announced Tuesday, September 22 by Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Bonnie Hommrich have the new program operating at what is now the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center.
DCS invited TSEA to attend Tuesday’s meeting at Woodland Hills where Commissioner Hommrich, along with Deputy Commissioner Monica Jones, made the announcement and told staff management that the facility needs to be prepared for the possibility of permanently relocating all staff and the approximately 40 remaining students to New Vision.
The department doesn’t know when official word on the application’s acceptance will be announced. But, assuming the application is accepted, the potential move to New Vision is estimated to occur in the spring of 2017.
The NGYC program would add approximately 70 new state jobs, largely funded by federal dollars. No cuts to the current 100 staff positions (88 filled, 12 vacant) were mentioned.
The department also reiterated there are no plans to privatize services provided by the Woodland Hills staff.
According to the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe website, the program is a community-based program that leads, trains and mentors 16-18 year old high school dropouts so that they may become productive citizens in America’s future.
TSEA will continue to monitor this developing story. Please check the TSEA website for updates to this and other stories important to state employees.