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Adams and Reese attorney and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) has been appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Workforce Development Board, which fosters a competitive economic environment through an innovative and collaborative workforce development system involving public and private sectors, while promoting Tennessee as a place where people choose to live and work.

“Economic development and a properly trained workforce to sustain it are critically important,” Norris said. “I’ve communicated with a number of businesses ready to expand in Tennessee who need qualified employees right away. We are capable of meeting that need, but better communication and coordination between departments, schools and opportunities are key to our success."

Norris sponsored legislation passed by the General Assembly this year to facilitate economic growth through workforce development. The Labor and Education Alignment Program (“LEAP”), now Public Chapter 338, lays the foundation for the cooperative effort of government, higher education and businesses looking for skilled workers by providing on-the-job training. It enables the trainee to earn credit toward a certificate or degree and earn income regardless of student financial assistance.

“The mission of the Workforce Development Board dovetails nicely with LEAP’s objectives, making it possible for Tennesseans to work, earn and learn,” Norris said.

The 36-member Workforce Development Board is appointed by the Governor and consists of the Commissioners of the Tennessee Department of Education, Human Services, Labor, Economic and Community Development, and Employment Security. Other members are chosen from business and industry, organized labor, community-based organizations, and education, as well as representatives of state and local government.

Norris represents the 32nd Senate District in Shelby and Tipton Counties. Norris has served in the Tennessee Senate since 2000 and as Senate Majority Leader since 2007.

At Adams and Reese, Norris has practiced law since 1980 and is Special Counsel with the firm in the Memphis and Nashville offices. Norris has a diverse civil litigation and business practice.