Current Grant Activity
The Growing Relational and Occupational Wealth in West Tennessee Households (GROWWTH)
collaborative is comprised of lead agency University of Memphis (UofM), three regional
workforce boards, the Hooks Institute, and other local care providers. In December
2020, the State of Tennessee awarded GROWWTH a Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative
Planning Grant in the amount of $445,000 to mitigate benefit cliff effects and promote
self-sufficiency for TANF (i.e., Tennessee Assistance for Needy Families) families.
GROWWTH planning grant partners will collect and analyze stakeholder data from 21 West Tennessee counties, including input from TANF recipients, local employers, and family service organizations. The planning grant partners will determine the implementation feasibility of strategies such as increased access to job training; transitional jobs; sector-based workforce initiatives; and alternative childcare and transportation arrangements to foster economic mobility for West Tennessee low-income families. Finally, the collaborative will be proposing an implementation grant to the State of Tennessee by March 30, 2022, requesting up to $25m to create transformational change for citizens and employers in the region.
The Center for Workplace Diversity of Inclusion (CWDI) is one of several centers included under the UofM umbrella which is playing a key role in the GROWWTH collaborative. Experts from the CWDI are supporting GROWWTH’s efforts to provide sustainable wages to TANF-eligible recipients while helping area employers build more inclusive workplaces.
To optimize the design of interventions that enhance the ability of individuals in needy families to find and obtain sustainable employment, our goals are to:
·Identify baseline information from Western Tennessee residents with respect to their work readiness, occupational information, training and education, and access to employers
·Collect data from hiring managers of key employers in Western Tennessee to assess
their organizational readiness for recruiting and hiring Western Tennessee residents
from needy families
These activities align with the primary mission of the CWDI –– to promote workplace diversity and inclusion through the advancement of research, education, and community partnerships to ensure more equitable workplaces for all. In doing so, the CWDI aims to enhance understanding of workplace diversity and inclusion issues and immerse evidence-based diversity and inclusion practices into organizations. CWDI experts not only have a background in helping individuals to reskill and upskill to find more meaningful employment, but they have particular expertise in designing interventions that are inclusive of and equitable for all residents.
CWDI Team Members of the GROWWTH Collaborative
CWDI Interim Director
Associate Professor of Management
Kurt Kraiger, Ph.D
Associate Dean for Research and Academic Programs, FCBE
Professor and Chair, Department of Management
Verlinda J. Henning, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Additional Resources on Building Inclusive Workplaces
- Strategies for Creating an Inclusive Workplace
- Two Type of Diversity Training That Really Work
- 6 Steps for Building and Inclusive Workplace
- Why Subtle Bias is so Often Worse Than Blatant Discrimination
- Organizations Cannot Afford to Stay Silent on Racial Justice
- Ways Managers Can Support Pregnant Employees
- Employers it is Time to Talk About Infertility
- Research Cameras On or Off
- When Companies Support Pumping Breastmilk at Work Everyone Benefits