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the learning cohort

The Learning Cohort is made up of a group of community organizations and their leaders who share a common interest in building an ecosystem of support for employers and individuals in recovery from substance abuse and or those who are involved in the justice system.  The cohort meets at least quarterly and participates in the process of collaborative efforts towards connecting employers with the necessary resources to promote health and productivity amongst their workforce as well as offer support and recovery services to those with a substance use disorder. By reducing barriers associated with hiring, the Caring Workplaces Initiative sets out to connect employers with a new pipeline of work ready individuals who are in need of a second chance. The collaborative design of the Learning Cohort, helps to eliminate duplication of services and strengthens the overall goal of the Caring Workplaces Initiative. The First Tennessee Development District wishes to express its appreciation to all our community partners involved in the Learning Cohort, as we continue to work together to help make a stronger workforce in the Northeast Tennessee region.


Cristi L. Blalock, AS, CESP, CIPS

Employment Service Coordinator

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BJ Gott

Plant Manager

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Casey M. Carringer, MBA

Department of Population

Jo Pearce, MPH, PHR, RACR

Human Resources Manager

Unicoi County Hospital


Kathy Pierce

Executive Director


Miles A. Burdine 

President & CEO


Angela Hagaman, MA, NCC

Director of Operations 

Addiction Science Center

Ginny Kidwell

Executive Director for the Tennessee Institute of Public Health

Mina McVeigh, LCSW

Behavioral Specialist

Kelly Moore, PhD

 Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Assistant Professor of Psychology


Alice McCaffrey



Roger Willet

Jail Administrator

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