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Workforce service providers – too many or too few?

There are over 130 organizations that provide meaningful types of workforce development services in Memphis. While that might sound like a lot of organizations, it is only one workforce service provider for every 950 people experiencing poverty between the working ages of 18 to 55 years old.

Is 130+ is too many or too few organizations? Enhancing our community’s employment pathways from poverty to living-wage employment demands an accurate understanding of this question.

We have taken the first step – categorizing the specific services provided. The categories are 1) Employment, Counseling, and Placement Support, 2) Academic and Technical Training, and 3) Workforce-enabling Support Services.


The most common workforce services offered are mentoring and coaching, job placement assistance, and career-success skills training. In contrast, the least common workforce services include matching professional aptitudes with applicable careers, job retention support, and training on basic business functions for independent contractors and small business owners.


A large proportion of workforce service providers are located in the corridor from Downtown to East Memphis. While these locations might be centralized, the transportation gaps in Memphis can make them virtually inaccessible for people who do not have access to reliable private transportation.

Workforce service providers – too many or too few?