JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Northeast Tennessee Regional Hub (NETNHub) is working with a company that specializes in connecting workers with employers to give the local workforce a boost.

According to a release from NETNHub, the organization has partnered with Anthill, a company that “connects frontline workers to employer resources through text messaging.” The NETNHub announced a TVA Workforce Development Grant will allow up to six manufacturers in Northeast Tennessee to get a funding match that will provide them with Anthill’s technology.

The release states that the grant will fund the support of up to 850 frontline workers in the region by giving them access to things like internal communication, HR resources and training opportunities. The manufacturers who are selected for funding will be provided with a year of Anthill services.

Those services include “two-way SMS texting, 24/7 HR center, automated surveys, language translation, insights dashboard and customer success management,” the release states.

Muriel Clauson Closs, CEO and co-founder of Anthill, stated in the release that providing factory floor or field employees with access to corporate communications can improve the work environment.

Mitch Miller of NETNHub said stabilizing the workforce in the region is paramount and that opportunities like this will help in that endeavor.

“The single greatest challenge for regional manufacturers today is workforce stabilization,” Miller stated in the release. “This is the Hub’s first step in carving a new path to getting the communities of the Appalachian Highlands up to full employment and our manufacturers to peak production and profitability.”

Grant applications are open for manufacturers through March 1. Submissions may be sent online, and the winners will be notified in March. In order to apply, the manufacturers must be located in Carter, Hancock, Hawkins, Greene, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi or Washington counties.