• Volunteer Electric awards $2,000 to Roane County organizations

    Volunteer Energy Cooperative’s VECustomers Share program awarded $2,000 grants to Roane County organizations in January.

    Local groups receiving grants include Midway Quarterback Club ($300), Midway Youth Cheerleading Organization ($300), Midway High School Baseball Booster ($300), Salem Baptist Church- Food Pantry ($500), and Midway Music Club ($600).

    The program, founded in October 2001, has donated more than $6.5 million to various community-service organizations across VEC’s 17-county service area.

  • State sees growth in new businesses

    New business filings increased more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year, according to a new report released by Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

    This marked the fourth consecutive quarter of new business increases in excess of 10 percent in Tennessee.

  • Food City recognizes employees who give back

    Food City recognized its employees recently for giving back to their communities, including three members from stores in Kingston, Harriman and Oliver Springs.

    Cherlyn Brown, front end manager of the Food City in Harriman, volunteers with First Christian Church; Kaitlyn Stephens, a cashier at the Kingston Food City volunteers with Midway Schools; and Teresa Hall, a bakery deli helper at Oliver Springs Food City, volunteers with the Oliver Springs Historical Society.

    “It is always a blessing to help everybody,” said Brown.

  • Roane sees drop in the unemployed

    More than three-quarters of Tennessee’s 95 counties, including Roane County, experienced a drop in unemployment during December 2018 according to data released by Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Dr. Jeff McCord.

    Roane County saw its unemployment rate drop in December based on estimates from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    Those estimates indicate 22,370 of the county’s 23,230 workforce were employed in December, for an unemployment rate of 3.7.

  • Funding had positive impact on the pay of direct support professionals

    Survey results from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability show that increased funding intended to boost the pay of direct support professionals working with adults with disabilities has had a positive effect on employee wages.

    In 2018, the General Assembly appropriated $49 million in state and federal matching funds to increase the hourly wages of direct support professionals working under the home and community-based services waivers program administered by the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.


    By Richard Evans

    Chuck’s Deli is currently down, but they are not out.

    “We’re optimistic [to reopen] in about six weeks. I’m thinking it will be March if there’s no hold up,” said Jason Shillings. He and his wife Sonya own the business.

    “The whole time we’ve been planning to rebuild. We’re just thankful and blessed to have the opportunity to rebuild,” he said.

    The Harriman landmark, which has been open for decades, was heavily damaged by fire on Dec. 28.

  • Deputy manager environmental cleanup named

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of Laura Wilkerson as the deputy manager of the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management.

    Previously, Wilkerson served as the director of the organization’s Planning and Execution Division. She brings more than 25 years of federal service to the position.

    OREM is responsible for environmental cleanup across the 32,400-acre Oak Ridge Reservation.

  • What’s the SCORE? Ways to improve performance appraisals

    By Dana Peterka

    For many people managers, this is the time of year for annual performance appraisals of subordinates.

    For subordinates, this is one of the most important professional development discussions of the year.

    Too often managers rush through the process. They don’t invest the time needed to maximize the effectiveness of the appraisal. What does poor preparation communicate to the subordinate? “I don’t have time to tell you how I think you’re doing at your job.”

  • Lee reappoints Bob Rolfe as the TNECD commissioner

    On Thursday, Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Lee announced the appointment of Bob Rolfe to his cabinet for the Department of Economic and Community Development.

    Rolfe has served as TNECD commissioner since March 1, 2017.

    “As a lifelong Tennessean, it is a great honor to have the opportunity to continue my work in public service along with my colleagues throughout the state,” Rolfe said. “We remain focused on creating a business-friendly environment that gives companies around the globe the confidence to locate, invest and grow here.

  • Lee announces Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner

    Last week, Governor-elect Bill Lee announced Dr. Jeff McCord will be the next Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

    Dr. McCord is from Sullivan County and currently serves as the Vice President for Economic and Workforce Development at Northeast State Community College.

    McCord leads Workforce Solutions, a workforce development program that includes the development of registered apprenticeship programs, as well as the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM), a technical career academy.