Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee
5100 Linbar Dr.
Suite 101
Nashville TN 37211
Mission Statement

The Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee (CRIT) provides opportunities that allow refugee and immigrant families to build happy and productive lives in their new home here in the United States. Our vision is to see refugees and immigrants leading self-sufficient and integrated lives in a welcoming and inclusive community environment.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Melissa Rhodes
Board Chair Ms. Melissa Rhodes
Board Chair Company Affiliation HCA
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2000
Former Names
Somali Community Center of Nashville (changed to: Center for Refugees & Immigrants of Tennessee, as of 2/19/2009)
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
 
 
Projected Expenses $480,162.00
Projected Annual Revenue $517,896.00 (2016)
Statements
Mission

The Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee (CRIT) provides opportunities that allow refugee and immigrant families to build happy and productive lives in their new home here in the United States. Our vision is to see refugees and immigrants leading self-sufficient and integrated lives in a welcoming and inclusive community environment.

Background

Originally founded in 1997 by Somali refugees, CRIT incorporated in 2000.  CRIT has a rich history of serving families as they rebuild their lives in Nashville and surrounding communities.  We help refugees overcome the trauma they have experienced in their home countries and may have experienced in a minimum of two years in refugee camps through supportive, integration services and referrals to mental health and medical programs.  We help refugees and immigrants rebuild their lives here in Nashville through a variety of programs, including:


· Integration Services: English as a Second Language classes, Job Placement (resume and application assistance, partnerships with employers, interview skills, mentoring), Citizenship Classes, Social Adjustment Services (affordable housing assistance, registering children for school, obtaining mental health and/or medical needs, legal paperwork, insurance, etc.)

· Agriculture: Many refugees and immigrants have agrarian backgrounds. Through community gardens, we empower our clients to grow food to support their own families in an environment that helps establish and build community here. We also give our farmers the option of participating in a market program in which they sell through local farmers markets and, in some cases, direct to local restaurants.

· Children and Youth: CRIT offers RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Students Empowered), an afterschool and summer program for middle school students. In this program, students received reinforcement in acquiring English, homework assistance, and enrichment programming. We have a particularly-intensive arts program that allows students to transcend differing languages and cultures to express themselves in a powerful medium. CRIT hopes to expand this programming to high school aged students in the immediate future.


Impact

Integration Services: Almost 60 adult learners participated in vocational ESL classes with 85% demonstrating an increase in comprehension. Of 92 clients working to address job-specific concerns, 81% were successful. Nearly 60% of clients were placed in jobs. One hundred percent of clients successfully addressed identified social adjustment concerns. Almost 50 clients measured an improvement in financial literacy. Nearly 100 clients received legal assistance with refugee and immigration paperwork, filing visas, green cards, etc.

Agriculture: Of nearly fifty community gardeners, eleven have opted to participate in the market program, selling at local farmers markets.  Two farmers are providing produce to local restaurants for the first time.

Children and Youth: RISE served 128 unduplicated middle school students at Antioch Middle School, Apollo Middle School, McMurray Middle School and Stonebrook Apartments. Antioch and Apollo Middle Schools are in the Southeast NAZA Zone, and McMurray Middle School and Stonebrook Apartments are in the South Central NAZA Zone. RISE has expanded to Wright Middle School within the South Central NAZA Zone. RISE is continuing to serve students from Antioch Middle School, Apollo Middle School, McMurray Middle School, and Stonebrook Apartments. So far this school year (2015-2016) RISE has served a total of 103 unduplicated students, with a goal of serving 90 unduplicated students.

RISE is currently measuring the following outcomes:

o At least 75% of unduplicated RISE enrollees (67/90) will have a daily average attendance rate of 70% or higher.

o At least 50% of RISE enrollees (45/90), for which the BADER Reading and Language Inventory scores are available, will improve their scores in Reading or Language Comprehension

o At least 3 program sites will improve RISE’s program quality scores on at least two scales of the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA)

Integration Services Goals:

 

100% of clients (92/92) resolve employment-specific concerns

Provide 6 referrals to Workforce Investment Act training programs through NCAC

60% of clients (56/92) will be placed in jobs

 Additional goals include the establishment of new policies and procedures, a new, organizational structure, and growth and diversification in funding sources. 

Pilot goal attainment scaling as an evaluation method for 25 clients

 
 
 
 
Needs
1. CRIT needs to raise $122,000 to replace the loss of funding from the Office of Refugee Resettlement due to a change in their funding priorities.  These funds will allow us to maintain and grow Cultural Integration Services, which are at the heart of our service to refugee and immigrants.
2. CRIT seeks to add five, new board members in 2016, focusing on skill sets in finance, management, evaluation, insurance, and healthcare.
3. CRIT needs databases to track and manage donors, clients, and outcomes.
4. CRIT needs skilled volunteer assistance with monthly accounting.
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer

If you wish to send your tax-deductible donation by mail, please include your name, phone number, and address and send to:

Center for Refugees & Immigrants of Tennessee
5100 Linbar Drive, Suite 101  Nashville, TN 37211 

Your employer often matches your tax-deductible donations. Please check with your Human Resources department to find out if your employer has a matching funds program.  
 
Our current wish list is:
  • General Office Supplies
  • New computers and office software
  • New or gently used laser printer
  • Printer toner for various models
  • Digital cameras
  • Whiteboards
  • Standard copy paper
  • Books for middle school students
  • English as a Second Language books/workbooks
  • Coloring Books
  • Garden tools and supplies

Do you have a passion for helping those in need? Would you like to make a difference in the lives of a refugee/immigrant family?

Volunteer with us! Most of the positions involve a weekly commitment. All of these volunteer opportunities will allow you to have direct contact with refugee/immigrant families in Nashville and see the difference you’re making in our clients’ lives.
 
Check out our website for details on volunteer and internship opportunities! http://www.centerforrefugees.org/about/volunteer/
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Human Services / Ethnic/Immigrant Services
Secondary Organization Category Education / Adult Education
Tertiary Organization Category Employment / Job Training
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Bedford
TN - Davidson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Sumner
TN - Williamson
CRIT is based in Middle Tennessee, but clients from communities throughout the state are eligible for and present for services, and the agency provides legal services nationally. 
Board Chair Statement CRIT is an exceptional organization serving a diverse community of refugees and immigrants.  My personal passion is for bringing communities together through the arts, and I am reminded daily of the common language of music and art.  It is in these shared moments that we realize our shared humanity and fully realize the potential these new neighbors truly have. 
CEO Statement
Refugees flee horrific circumstances in their home countries, leaving behind everything they have ever known.  They endure hardship to make their way to refugee camps where they will spend a minimum of two years being vetted before being placed in a new country.  Some spend seventeen or more years.  Once they arrive in a new country, they have a limited window of time to achieve self sufficiency before support ends.  They must overcome language and cultural barriers, educational challenges, basic skills like driving, and poverty.  Some refugees may have been in poverty in their home countries.  Others may have been professionals who now find themselves in a strange land in poverty for the first time in their lives.
 
CRIT is not a resettlement agency and does not receive federal and state funds to provide initial services.  CRIT fills a critical gap in aiding refugees as they seek English classes, employment, affordable housing, medical and mental health needs (from the trauma of their experiences), and more.   Through these core programs and unique programs such as our youth and agriculture programs, CRIT creates community on the road to self sufficiency.
Programs
Description

•               English as a Second Language classes, Job Placement (resume and application assistance, partnerships with employers, interview skills, mentoring), Citizenship Classes, Social Adjustment Services (affordable housing assistance, registering children for school, obtaining mental health and/or medical needs, legal paperwork, insurance, etc.)  Almost 60 adult learners participated in vocational ESL classes with 85% demonstrating an increase in comprehension. Of 92 clients working to address job-specific concerns, 81% were successful. Nearly 60% of clients were placed in jobs. One hundred percent of clients successfully addressed identified social adjustment concerns. Almost 50 clients measured an improvement in financial literacy. Nearly 100 clients received legal assistance with refugee and immigration paperwork, filing visas, green cards, etc. 


pasting
Budget 180,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Services for Ethnic & Immigrant Groups
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated,
Short Term Success Vocational English as a Second Language classes serve approximately 64 clients per year, improving the skills of at least 80% of those attending, as measured in pre- and post- tests; Job Readiness Coaching/Career Development for 72 refugees/immigrants; Job Placement and 90-Day Post-Employment Follow-Up for 56; Social Adjustment and Health Services  Information provided to at least 70 clients; After-School Tutoring for up to 90 middle school students, with 75% (67 of 90) participating in an enhancement offering/workshop focusing on STEM concepts and art exposure, contributing to the likelihood that they will graduate, complete post-secondary education, and be better prepared for higher skilled and higher paying jobs; measured by pre- and post- test data..  
Long term Success The Integration Program increases the pathways for integration of an estimated 180 unduplicated refugees within the Nashville area economy, educational pipeline, and/or social service system. The Economic Value to Tennessee, the immediate community and the client families families is estimated at $990,080, or $17,680 per person per year worked.
Program Success Monitored By Activities and client responses are measured by pre- and post- test data; client data in CRIT database; class attendance logs and self-report survey data, by number of participants in attendance at community events as indicated by sign-in sheets, etc.
Examples of Program Success The most recent year's program results, shown above, reveal higher numbers of refugees/immigrants served than 2014, when CRIT assisted 68 individuals in obtaining new jobs, and 109 individuals with employment related concerns. Additionally, CRIT assisted 105 individuals with social adjustment concerns. The Center even hired/trained four bilingual refugee clients as interpreters/consultants for its successful Bilingual Interpretation Program.
Description

•               CRIT offers RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Students Empowered), an afterschool and summer program for middle school students. CRIT works in partnership with the Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA) in the South Central Zone and Southeast Zone.  NAZA is a partnership of the Nashville Public Library, afterschool providers, and MNPS that fosters coordinated, high-quality programming at MNPS middle schools and community sites in geographically-defined zones.  RISE offers extended homework help, support in English Language Learning, and exposure to a variety of enhancement activities such as gardening, dance lessons, yoga lessons, hands on STEM Labs, Frist Center Art Trunk, spoken word, songwriting, health and first aid, and soccer lessons.  RISE meets approximately 208 hours per school year – 2 hours per day/4 days a week/26 weeks (13 weeks in during the fall semester and 13 weeks during the spring semesterWe have a particularly-intensive arts program that allows students to transcend differing languages and cultures to express themselves in a powerful medium.  CRIT hopes to expand this programming to high school aged students in the immediate future.  

Budget 170000
Category Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, Children Only (5 - 14 years),
Short Term Success

At least 79% of unduplicated RISE enrollees (82 OF 103 IN THE 2015-16 school year) have an average daily attendance rate of 70% or higher. At least 75% of unduplicated RISE enrollees (77/103) will participate in an enhancement offering/workshop focusing on STEM concepts and art exposure by partnering with professionals in these fields.

Long term Success RISE aims to improve social integration, academic achievement, and foster diverse interest in new skills that ultimately lead to improved academic success at the secondary school level, thus improving the chances students will pursue college and successful life strategies.
Program Success Monitored By Site coordinators monitor student attendance and participation, reporting back to RISE Program Director at CRIT.
Examples of Program Success All four Metro Nashville middle school RISE sites are operating with at least a total average daily attendance of 80% or higher in this program. 

RISE students have the opportunity to engage in pottery, songwriting, hip-hop dance, and African drumming lessons, as well as hands-on workshops with the Adventure Science Center.

Description

•               Many refugees and immigrants have agrarian backgrounds.  Through community gardens, we empower our clients to grow food to support their own families in an environment that helps establish and build community here.  We also give our farmers the option of participating in a market program in which they sell through local farmers markets and, in some cases, direct to local restaurants.  Financial literacy and well being are components of the program. CRIT and The Nashville Food Project have created a Garden Bucks system, adapted from the Juniper Bucks system that the RAPP program in Kansas City developed. All participants receive a fixed amount of Garden Bucks for the season; community gardeners receiving 155 garden bucks and market gardeners receiving 300 garden bucks. Each gardener has a set budget and has fixed prices for certain garden inputs, such as compost, land rental and water. Gardeners have autonomy over items such as seeds, transplants and whether or not to purchase season extension supplies. CRIT collaborates with The Nashville Food Project and Nashville Grown and has three gardens—The Wedgewood Urban Garden, The Blackman Road Urban Garden, and The Paragon Mills Urban Garden. CRIT is also participating in a collaborative effort with other agencies, Communities and Students Together for Learning-Enhanced Service (C.A.S.T.L.E.S) of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing and the South Family Resource Center of Catholic Charities. Both agencies are interested in promoting food security within refugee and immigrant communities, and are currently addressing nutrition education needs in the community.  Nearly 80 refugees participate in the garden program, twelve of whom participate in the market program in which they sell in markets and to local restaurants.  


pasting
Budget $85,000
Category Education, General/Other
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees, ,
Long term Success

The Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP) in partnership with the Nashville Food Project and FASHA (Fervent Assistance to Survivors for Health Adjustment) has begun its third season of increasing garden space and training to recently arrived refugees. There are currently sixty-two (62) refugee families engaged with the community and market gardens. Participants in the community garden program now have increased access to grow vegetables for home use and access to agricultural education, adapted to meet their needs. Market gardener participants have increased access to grow for the purpose of selling for supplemental income and have access to production and marketing training.

CEO Comments
CRIT weaves a rich and diverse fabric of community that is beautiful for all touched by it.  To witness the resilience of the populations we serve and to be a small part of helping them achieve goals and self sufficiency is an extraordinary opportunity.
 
CRIT has amazing opportunities before it.  The RISE program can continue to grow, including a pilot program we hope to launch in August 2016, serving high school students.  Refugee and immigrant students who enter the United States at a high school age are placed in high schools regardless of previous educational experiences or language skills.  RISE has the opportunity to create a new model to help these students.
 
Our agricultural programs have the opportunity to expand both in the number of community gardeners and in the market and farm programs. Just recently, we added a new community garden paired with a citizenship class for elders (refugees and immigrants over the age of 60).  We may have the opportunity to create farm incubators and to pair our gardening program with our school program.
 
Our cultural integration services would like to provide additional job training programs by adding a computer lab and offering GED, Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, and other classes.  We want to host job fairs and continue to expand the collaborations that allow us to reach more people in need. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Melissa Rhodes
Company Affiliation HCA
Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2017
Email melissa.rhodes@hcahealthcare.com
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Angela Graves Voting
Tiffany Hodge The PENCIL FoundationVoting
Dr. Srivatsan Pallavaram Vanderbilt UniversityVoting
Mr. Jonathan Pride Pencil FoundationVoting
Ms. Melissa Rhodes HCAVoting
Rebecca West Nashville Chamber of CommerceVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Strategic Planning
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
Professional Liability
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
CEO Comments CRIT has a small but active board of directors comprised of individuals truly passionate about serving refugees and immigrants. CRIT seeks to add five, new, talented board members in 2016.  We particularly desire skills including human resources, collaboration, evaluation, education, legislative affairs, fundraising, legal, and finance.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Melissa Rhodes
Term Start Jan 2016
Email nancy@centerforrefugees.org
Experience Melissa Rhodes, board chair, is assuming the chief leadership role during an intentional period in which CRIT is exploring some exciting options.  A data recovery specialist for HCA, Ms. Rhodes brings a deep and personal passion for CRIT's mission.  her story includes the triumph of her father who came to the United States as an immigrant and, with her mother, built a life that gave both Melissa and her own daughter the success they have today.  She recognizes the value of support that creates generational self sufficiency, and she wants to ensure those services remain available to the hard-working, resilient refugees and immigrants coming to Nashville.
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Mr. Abdirizak Hassan July 2003 - Sept 2011
Yussuf Issa 2011 - 2016
Staff
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 10
Volunteers 30
Contractors 30
Retention Rate 60%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 2
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Mar 2014
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition2000
Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network2001
Metro Arts Commission2011
Metro Nashville Public Schools/Chamber of Commerce Alignment Process2010
Nashville Youth Coalition2010
PENCIL2010
Second Harvest Food Bank2012
Tennesseans for the Arts2012
Hands On Network2012
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Bridging Divides: The Role of Ethnic Community-Based Organizations in Refugee Integration (best practices study)Migration Policy Institute2007
Emma 25 HonoreeEmma2012
Excellence in Volunteer Engagement CertificationHands on Nashville and Center for Nonprofit Management2012
2013 Yelper's Choice Nonprofit Organization AwardYelp2013
Excellence in Volunteer Engagement CertificationHands on Nashville2014
YouROCK!NAZA2014
YouROCK!NAZA2014
YouROCK!NAZA2013
YouROCK!NAZA2014
Senior Staff
Title RISE Director
Experience/Biography
Title Agriculture Director
Experience/Biography
Title Community Navigator
Experience/Biography
Title Community Navigator
Experience/Biography
CEO Comments
CRIT is undergoing an intense self evaluation and making sure we have the right building blocks to be a healthy, growing organization whose structure reflects the strength of the work we do and the outcomes we achieve. We are looking at our organizational structure to be more intentional in creating full-time, sustainable positions that we reduce staff turnover and create more opportunity for excellence and growth.
 
We are fortunate to have a talented, intelligent, and passionate staff and board, and we are working to maintain and grow these bodies so critical to serving our mission. 
 
 
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2016
Projected Revenue $517,896.00
Projected Expenses $480,162.00
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$0$0$0
Government Contributions$296,691$285,848$156,593
Federal$0$0$0
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$296,691$285,848$156,593
Individual Contributions$64,590$97,428$97,020
$17,933$0$0
$248,686$140,925$116,439
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0$0
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Other$79$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$490,069$436,174$303,101
Administration Expense$54,476$79,953$71,664
Fundraising Expense$43,621$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.071.020.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%85%81%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue12%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$145,253$131,285$123,310
Current Assets$118,784$128,065$118,758
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$7,309$15,477$15,940
Total Net Assets$137,944$115,344$107,370
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities16.258.277.45
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants $296,691Government Gifts and Grants $285,848Government Grants & Contracts $156,593
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Services $248,686Program Service Revenue $140,925Program Service Revenue (Translation Services) $116,439
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFederated Campaigns $17,933Individual Contributions $97,428Other Contributions, Gifts & Grants $97,020
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2016
Organization Comments
In January 2016, CRIT adopted new and rigorous financial policies and procedures and implemented new, monthly financial statements for board review.  We also hired a respected audit firm, Patterson Hardee Ballentine, to conduct our FY15 audit.  We are excited at the new analysis of our finances and how it informs the efficacy and innovation of our program decisions.
 
CRIT is seeking to replace $122,000 in funding that previously came from the Office of Refugee Resettlement.  ORR announced a gap year in funding in 2015 and changed priorities, choosing to fund only resettlement agencies going forward.  CRIT is working to expand and diversify our funding base through individual and major gift campaigns, new grant applications, and a new, signature special event. 
GivingMatters.com Financial Comments
Financials taken from the 990.
Financial documents completed by Patterson, Hardee & Ballentine PC.
Foundations & Corporations are included with Individual Contributions, as figures are not listed separately in documents.
Comments provided by Elizabeth Madsen 4/14/16
Nonprofit Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee
Address 5100 Linbar Dr.
Suite 101
Nashville, TN 37211
Primary Phone (615) 366-6868
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Melissa Rhodes
Board Chair Ms. Melissa Rhodes
Board Chair Company Affiliation HCA
Year of Incorporation 2000
Former Names
Somali Community Center of Nashville (changed to: Center for Refugees & Immigrants of Tennessee, as of 2/19/2009)

Related Information

Refugees and Immigrants

The phenomenal growth of Tennessee’s foreign-born population, and the opportunities and challenges this has presented for newcomers and the state, has brought Tennessee into the national spotlight in recent years. During the 1990s, the foreign-born population in Nashville tripled. Meanwhile, the number of foreign-born people statewide grew by 169%, making our state a larger magnet for immigrants, by percentage, than larger cities like New York and Los Angeles. In the year 2000, 45% of Nashville’s foreign-born residents had been in the United States less than five years. Catholic Charities of Tennessee resettled 648 refugees in Middle TN in 2010 alone.

Cultural and Ethnic Diversity

The United States stands out among nations as a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. Demographers predict that by 2050, no single majority group will exist in the United States. Diversity is a key part of Middle Tennessee’s past, present and future. Nashville, especially, is a model of the American "melting pot," with an active Native American population, thriving Hispanic community and growing Middle Eastern and Asian presence. Different cultures, religions, ideas and customs come together harmoniously in Music City.

Adult Literacy

If you can read this, you can fill out an application, write a check, shop for groceries, read to a child, and understand the bus schedule. What if you couldn’t? On top of that, what would happen if you couldn’t speak English? Renting an apartment and going to the doctor would be come terrifying and overwhelming. 44 million adults in the United States are unable to even read a simple story to a child, and 1 out of 5 Nashville adults is functionally illiterate.

Workforce Development

With global competition, technological changes and the growth of knowledge- and service-based economies, even entry-level jobs require more advanced skills than they did several decades ago. There is great demand for workers with education, skills training or both, but jobs that require only a high school diploma are disappearing, or the wages they pay are dropping. Schools offer limited vocational training, and graduates often lack the practical job skills employers need.