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TDOT Workers Now Required to Get GED or High School Diploma

By Deneisha Pearson
By dpearson@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Some state workers are now forced to get a GED or lose their jobs.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation says now all workers are required to get a GED or high school diploma.

Local TDOT Director of Operations Jason Baker says this could mean better career opportunities and help employees compete in the work force.

“With the new positions that we're talking about and those new baseline requirements also comes the ability to raise the pay for those positions and to pay our employees,” Baker said.

Local TDOT officials say they have 60 employees without diplomas but more than half are taking classes.

They say the GED test costs $75.

“They're paying for it and then the department reimburses all those that obtain their GED, the department is paying their cost,” Baker said.

Some workers with years of experience are not happy with the new requirement., but drivers say the change is a great idea.

Some Tennesseans say it may be hard for workers to get back in the classroom, but they think it will help.

Baker says workers have two years to get their GED.