To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Tennessee families

Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action -- proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy.  To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country.   As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Tennessee in the first three months of his administration.


Working Families:

  • Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $1.2 billion back in the pockets of more than 2.3 million hard-working Tennessee families.
  • $41,932,510 to support child care for working families.


  • $42,243,200 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
  • $99,112,101 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • $62,482,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.


  • $1,474,223,666 potentially available to Tennessee to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.

Health Care:

  •  $2,273,593 to fund 2 new Community Health Centers, which will serve an estimated 10,740 patients and create a projected 80 jobs.
  •  $6,529,736 to expand services at 23 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 37,894 patients and create or save a projected 147 jobs.
  •  $1,972,292 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
  • $11,647,000 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
  •  $3,540,952 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.


  • $572,701,043 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
  • $72,016,364 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.
  • $17,500,000 to address airport safety and security, infrastructure, runway safety, increased capacity, and mitigation of environmental impacts.

Law Enforcement:

  • More than $50.3 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.  The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.


Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.

Governor Bredesen Said Stimulus Will Create Jobs and Preserve a Substantial Number of State Jobs That Would Have Been Lost Otherwise. "Governor Phil Bredesen says Tennessee will receive just over $4.5 billion dollars from the federal stimulus act. Bredesen says ‘when you spend that kind of money, I mean I clearly think it's going to create jobs in the state. I clearly think it's going to preserve jobs in the state. In state government, it's going to preserve a substantial number of jobs that we'd have to lose otherwise.’" [WDEF 12 Blog, 3/9/09]

TN Gov, Rep. John Tanner Among the Officials On Hand for Groundbreaking on TN’s First Recovery Act-Funded Highway Project Which Is Estimated to Employ 150+. "The state's first road project funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was celebrated Thursday in Gibson County for its role in providing jobs and replacing worn-out infrastructure. Gov. Phil Bredesen, Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely, U.S. Rep. John Tanner, Gibson County Mayor Joe Shepard and other key lawmakers and officials were on hand for the groundbreaking on repair work on three bridges along McMurry Road. The $924,000 project was awarded to Ford Construction Company and is estimated to employ more than 150 Tennesseans. Those jobs include on-site construction workers and jobs for suppliers and manufacturers. The project will be completely funded by funding from the Recovery Act…‘At it's core, this Recovery Act is about creating jobs and retaining jobs and stimulating the economy in what is one of the toughest economic times in our state and our nation,’ Bredesen said." [Jackson Sun (TN), 4/17/09]

Stimulus Money Will Fund a Summer Youth Jobs Program That Will Provide 12,000 Jobs for Low-Income and Disadvantaged Teens and Young Adults. "The state is now taking applications for a summer youth jobs program that will provide 12,000 jobs for low-income and disadvantaged teens and young adults. Federal stimulus funds are providing $25 million to Tennessee to help young people between the ages of 14 and 24 find jobs this summer. The Department of Labor and Workforce says that the number of unemployed young people has more than doubled since 2007 resulting in more than 45,000 unemployed young people." [AP, 4/20/09]

Chota Community Health Services in Monroe County Will Use its Stimulus Grant to Open and Staff a New Clinic. "Thousands of dollars in federal stimulus funds are flowing into Southeast Tennessee community health centers, and not a moment too soon, program directors say. Many federally qualified community health centers, which provide primary health care at discounted rates to underserved populations, have struggling as demand rose and funding shrank. ‘It is coming at a perfect time,’ said Brian Smith. He’s CEO of Chota Community Health Services, which runs a number of community health centers in Monroe County, Tenn… Chota will use its $205,000 grant to open and staff a new clinic intended for new patients, who have been showing up in droves since the economic downturn began, Mr. Smith said... In Tennessee, the funds are expected to create or retain 147 jobs in community health centers, the department said. Those retained and added jobs will do more than bolster health care services, said Kathy Wood-Dobbins, CEO of the nonprofit Tennessee Primary Care Association." [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 4/20/09]

Oak Ridge Will Receive $755 Million In Stimulus Funds For Cleanup Projects That Will Create An Estimated 1,500 Jobs. "Oak Ridge got nine digits of good news last week when the Department of Energy announced $755 million in stimulus funding would be used for cleanup projects in the Atomic City. Some information on the work isn't yet available, including details of the estimated 1,500 jobs to be created and how to apply for them. But DOE has laid out general plans for distributing the funds among four Oak Ridge sites. The federal agency also identified a long list of projects to be accomplished over the next 2 1/2 years. Of the Oak Ridge allotment, $239 million will be spent at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; $292 million at the Y-12 National Security Complex; $144 million at the East Tennessee Technology Park; and about $80 million at the Transuranic Waste Processing Center. Many of the projects have been proposed for years but didn't have the money or the urgency provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Congress passed in February to stimulate the nation's sagging economy and create jobs. ‘If it wasn't for this (stimulus) money, we'd probably be delayed two or three more years getting started,’ Gerald Boyd, DOE's Oak Ridge manager, said." [Knox News, 4/6/09]

TN Released a List of 450 New Road Projects to be Funded with a Combination of Recovery Act Money, State Money & Bonds; TDOT Commissioner Said These Transportation Projects Will Help Create or Save Tens of Thousands of Jobs. "The state has released a list of 450 new road projects that it plans to fund over the next three years using a combination of federal stimulus dollars, state money and bonds. ‘Not only will these transportation projects help create or save tens of thousands of jobs for Tennesseans, the end result of this investment will be a more reliable transportation system,’ TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely said in a statement accompanying the list. ‘This three-tiered program represents a responsible, balanced and community based approach to transportation. Years of planning and study have gone into each of the projects funded for construction.’ Road projects are planned in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Many of them will be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." [The Tennessean, 4/14/09]

Stimulus Funding Is Helping Community Health Clinics in Tennessee and Georgia Retain Staff and Expand Operating Hours. "At a time when the growing number of uninsured patients is straining community health centers’ budgets, federal stimulus funding is helping those clinics in Tennessee and Georgia retain staff and expand operating hours. Community health centers, which provide health care to underserved communities and often receive little or no payment from patients, struggle financially, program directors say. As the economic recession leaves more Americans without jobs or health insurance, the need for subsidized health care is growing. ‘Community health centers have really been squeezed,’ said Kathy Wood-Dobbins, chief executive officer of the nonprofit Tennessee Primary Care Association. The association’s members are mainly federally funded health centers. ‘These dollars have really helped them be able to keep staff and to add some jobs, as well,’ she said…This initial round of grants is intended to help shore up staffing and services to handle increasing numbers of patients, said Steve Miracle, CEO of the Georgia Mountains Health Services. The nonprofit operates community health services in four Georgia cities, including Chatsworth." [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 4/21/09]

TN Officials Announce the Availability of Job Training Funds for Unemployed and Low-Income Adults. "Officials announced Tuesday the availability of training funds to laid off worker and low-income adults. Governor Phil Bredesen and Commissioner James Neeley announced $30.4 million will go toward the training funds. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided $21.2 million for laid off works and $9.2 million to low-income adults to pay for training and support services. ‘The training, particularly in emerging occupations, that will be provided with these Recovery Act funds will help prepare unemployed Tennesseans for new jobs at a time when that's more important than ever,’ said Bredesen. The funding is expected to increase by 40 percent from the number of people who received training services last year. Adult services are expected to increase by 20 percent. ‘Many laid-off workers and adults haven't had to worry about updating their skills for years, and this Recovery Act funding provides an opportunity to do just that,’ said Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development James Neeley." [WRCB-TV (Chattanooga, TN), 4/21/09]

Tennessee Will Use $25 Million in Stimulus Funds Put 12,000 Young People to Work for the Summer. "Tennessee will put nearly 12,000 young adults to work while providing free labor to businesses as part of the economic stimulus package. Unemployment numbers across the nation. According to the numbers, teens and young adults are among the hardest hit. Over the past three years, unemployment among 16-24 year olds in the Volunteer State has doubled up to 30 percent. Help is coming soon. The Tennessee Department of Labor has received $25 million to provide summer jobs for thousands of youth across the state. ‘Basically, employers fill out the time sheets, the department pays the paycheck and kids get the employment. Everybody wins in this situation,’ says Jeff Hentchel with the Department of Labor. ‘Whether its sweeping, emptying trash cans, painting tables.’" [WTVF News Channel 5, 3/9/09]

Recovery Act Will Provide IDEA Grants For Special Education Funding In Bedford County. "Bedford County will receive $933,184 in IDEA special education grant funds during the coming fiscal year and $1,110,085 in Title I funding over the next two years for disadvantaged students through the federal stimulus package, but those funds come with tight restrictions on how they can be used. ‘Those funds will not affect our general fund whatsoever,’ School Superintendent Ed Gray told Bedford County Board of Education on Thursday night. He said the IDEA grant will allow special education programs to be expanded in local high schools. The IDEA grant also includes $26,477 specifically targeted for preschool programs. The Title I funds go to schools with high concentrations of students from families that live in poverty. According to a state news release, possible uses of these funds could include extended school day and school year programs, intense year-long teacher training for Title I schools or intense parent training." [Shelbyville 4/17/09]

Stimulus Funds Will Allow 40 Additional Seniors To Be Enrolled In The Senior Community Service Employment Program. "Unemployed low-income Tennesseans age 55 and older will soon see additional training and employment opportunities as a result of a $484,100 grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The money will be used to expand the existing Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), aimed at helping older workers with poor employment prospects. ‘This Recovery Act grant will increase significantly the number of older adults that will benefit from training and skills enhancements that will allow them to become more competitive in the current job market,’ said Gov. Phil Bredesen… Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley said the stimulus money will allow 40 additional seniors to be enrolled in the program and will offer new job opportunities with employers." [Greenville Sun, 4/13/09]

Stimulus Money Will Pay For Projects at Tennessee Military and Veterans Facilities That Have Been Planned for Several Years But Did Not Have Funding."Tennessee military and veterans facilities -- including the Army National Guard Aviation Support Facility 2 in Alcoa -- will get millions of dollars in stimulus funds to construct new buildings, replace aging infrastructure and improve energy usage. The Department of Defense is getting $7.4 billion of the stimulus package signed earlier this year by President Obama and is spreading the money out to installations across the country. Tennessee will be getting more than $22 million through the Defense Department and another $18 million through the Department of Veterans Affairs… [Public affairs spokesman for the Tennessee National Guard John Evans] said all of the stimulus money announced by the DOD will be used for projects that have been planned for several years but were not funded. ‘Realistically, it's creating jobs. It's mainly refurbishing outdated buildings that would have been done anyway but weren't funded,’ he said." [The Daily Times, 4/16/09]

Stimulus Money Will Allow Local Tennessee Governments To Expand Programs, Fund Projects Aimed At Improving Quality Of Life, And Getting Residents Working Again.  "Federal stimulus funds won’t erase any budget deficits, but the extra money will allow local governments to expand programs and fund projects aimed at improving quality of life and getting residents working again. Infrastructure, education, public safety, transportation and public works will all get a boost when city agencies and local nonprofits get approval for grants through pools of money set aside for specific purposes. Almost every department will benefit from some kind of funding, and that will relieve strain on budgets. [Nashville Business Journal, 3/27/09]

  • Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Director Said "We Can Get A Lot Of Little Things Done." "‘We want people to understand this as an opportunity,’ says Michael Skipper, executive director of the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which whittled a $500 million ‘wish list’ down to $42 million worth of regional transportation and infrastructure projects that will be funded using stimulus grants. ‘The importance of the stimulus is creating jobs and distributing work throughout the region, and this is $42 million we didn’t have before. We can get a lot of little things done.’" [Nashville Business Journal, 3/27/09]
  • Stimulus Money Will Help Relieve Some Of The Nashville Public School District’s Financial Burden And Increase Services To More At-Risk And Special Needs Students. "Public schools also will benefit from an influx of $490 million for the state in K-12 and special education funding. Metro Nashville Public Schools has not gotten a definite amount of how much money will be coming to the district, but it will help relieve some of the district’s financial burden and increase services to more at-risk and special needs students. The challenge will be finding one-time uses for the funds, so as not to create permanent operating needs, school officials say. Early childhood education is also getting a boost, with $14 million in expansion funds allocated for state Head Start programs that are federally run but locally administered. [Nashville Business Journal, 3/27/09]
  • Stimulus Provided $1 Million To Nashville Health Network That Annually Serves 25,000 People, Half Of Which Have No Health Insurance. "Money is also going to social services programs such as homelessness prevention, food assistance programs and independent living for the mentally challenged, and city leaders say those programs indirectly relieve local budgets by improving citizens’ health and welfare and making people less dependent on government services. One nonprofit, United Neighborhood Health Services, has received nearly $1 million to expand primary health services by establishing three new clinics in Nashville by July 1. The network of health centers annually serves about 25,000 people, half of which have no health insurance. The grant will create about 15 jobs, allowing those people to support their families and depend less on public services, and serve thousands more patients at a time of rising unemployment that often results in lost health coverage. United Neighborhood officials say their client traffic has increased 30 percent in the past six months. [Nashville Business Journal, 3/27/09]

Two Memphis Health Clinics Will Receive More Than $833,000 In Stimulus Funds That Will Create Jobs And Allow The Clinics To Care For additional Patients."Two Memphis health centers will receive portions of $6.5 million in stimulus grants coming to Tennessee’s nonprofit health clinics to meet rising demand and create jobs. Christ Community Health Services Inc. will get $548,065 in Increased Demand for Services funds. Memphis Health Center will get $285,003. The funds must be used in the next two years. The Tennessee Department of Health projects the $6.5 million will create or retain 147 health center jobs across the state. Also, the centers will be able to provide care to an additional 37,000 people." [Memphis Business Journal, 3/31/09]

Oak Ridge Is Expected To Receive $755 Million For Environmental Cleanup Work That Will Likely Create 1,500 Jobs. "Oak Ridge is expected to get $755 million for environmental cleanup work from the federal stimulus package, probably creating up to about 1,500 jobs and providing a big boost to local "shovel ready" projects in need of funding, a U.S. Department of Energy official said Tuesday." [The Oak Ridger, 4/1/09]

Shelbyville Police Department Looking To Hire Four Additional Officers With Stimulus Funds. "Shelbyville police asked the City Council Tuesday for the opportunity to hire four additional officers with federal stimulus money. The funds, which would come from the Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing (COPS) Hiring Recovery Program, via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would provide 100 percent funding for three years for newly hired, full time officers. There is no local match requirement for the grant except that Shelbyville would be required to retain the officers for at least one year after the initial three-year period in which the salaries are fully federally funded. The federal funding would be based on entry level salary and benefit packages. The funds can also be used for re-hired officers who have been laid off or are scheduled to be at a later date as a result of budget cuts, according to the Justice Department." [Marshall County Tribune (TN), 4/8/09]

Oak Ridge Lab Will Receive $71M From Stimulus Plan For Upgrades and Renovations. "The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will use a portion of its $71.2 million in federal economic stimulus funding to replace a half-century-old research building, managers said Monday. ‘There is an emphasis on moving quickly,’ Lab Director Thom Mason said. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the award as part of $1.2 billion being distributed to national laboratories for major construction projects and infrastructure improvements. The Oak Ridge lab, located about 20 miles west of Knoxville, has been planning for some time to build a 160,000-square-foot chemicals and materials research facility to replace a badly aging 1952 structure with leaking pipes and high heating costs. The new building will house some 200 researchers studying solar batteries, corrosion-resistant materials and superconducting electric transmission lines. Building designs are nearly complete and contractors have been selected. With Recovery Act funding, officials hope to complete the project a year early in 2011. ‘This modernization effort will help keep ORNL as one of our nation's premier laboratories,’ said U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. It also will mean about 170 construction jobs. Other Oak Ridge stimulus-funded projects will include additions to the Spallation Neutron Source research facility and upgrades to the lab's nanophase materials science center." [AP, 3/24/09]

Stimulus Funding Delays University Layoffs. "Acting University of Tennessee President Jan Simek said today that federal stimulus money will delay planned layoffs.‘This allows us to at least delay any layoffs in the near future,’ Simek said. The UT system will receive $90 million in stimulus funding that will restore it to its 2008 funding level." [Knoxville News Sentinel, 3/24/09]


Stimulus Funds Would Be Used to Create "Energy Park" That Would Create Jobs For Tennessee Valley Corridor. "The U.S. Department of Energy today laid out plans for a regional ‘energy park’ that would be anchored in Oak Ridge and leverage existing assets — including surplus federal properties, research capabilities and a highly trained workforce — to clean up the environment, build energy security and create jobs in the four-state Tennessee Valley Corridor. While no exact figures were given for the Tennessee Valley Energy Enterprise, billions of dollars apparently would be invested over time, including federal stimulus money that’s dedicated for cleanup and energy development. The concept is to use available cleanup funds to make more land and facilities available for reuse on a broad range of potential energy-related projects, such as production of biofuels." [Knoxville News Sentinel, 3/12/09