An educated workforce has an undeniably positive impact on the community and economy as a whole, but results have proven to benefit companies in many ways as well. Other benefits include:

  • Enhanced job performance: productivity, innovation, decision-making, teamwork
  • Increased employer loyalty
  • Reduced turnover and reduced hiring and training costs
  • Improved recruitment and retention
  • Increased employee job satisfaction

According to studies conducted by Lumina Foundation, employers who invest in the education of their employees, specifically in employer reimbursement programs, can expect a significant return on that investment (Cigna and Discover).

This toolkit is designed to highlight best practices around this region and beyond. It is designed to provide information to employers who want to expand programs already in place or build programming where it does not currently exist. Additionally, this toolkit will spark ideas for new and innovative ways to engage employees in expanding their education and skills.
The Southwest TN Reconnect Community is ready to help you and your employees through this process. In addition to this toolkit, SWTRC can provide the following assistance to employees:

  • Focused advisement designed to benefit adult learners
  • Financial aid assistance
  • Determining the fastest route to completion of a degree, certificate or training program
  • Training in advising and assisting adult learners who work with team members who want to return to school
  • Tools to implement a new program or encourage employees to use an existing program


1. An increasing number of jobs now require post secondary credentials. Associate, bachelor’s or advanced degrees are preferred for more than half the in-demand positions in key economic sectors. Without an adequate pool of applicants with college degrees or credentials, these positions remain unfilled.

2.  Talented, high-performing workers are attracted to regions with a density of college-educated individuals and a wealth of employers committed to continuous learning. Southwest Tennessee continues to grow and attract employers who need an educated workforce.

3.  An analysis conducted by CEOs for Cities demonstrates that per capita income goes up when the college attainment level rises in a region. In Tennessee, the results are significant. According to a 2013 U.S. Census Bureau report on the economic benefits of postsecondary credentials, if Tennessee achieves 55 percent postsecondary attainment, it is estimated that an additional 541,156 Tennesseans will hold a postsecondary certificate or degree. This positions Tennessee to have a workforce that is agile, adaptable and ready to meet the needs of new and growing employers in the region.

Start typing and press Enter to search