Jaynes, 45, son of former Washington County Mayor George Jaynes, worked as NET Trans’ deputy director and later was promoted to director. He worked with NET Trans, a division of the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, for four years.
He replaces the retiring Lois Smith, who is leaving after 47 years of service with the agency. Jaynes will oversee the regional Community Action Partnership Agency, which is headquartered in Kingsport. The agency provides social services and resources to the citizens of Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington and Unicoi counties.
“It is a great opportunity for me to join such an agency,” Jaynes said in a news release Friday. “Ms. Smith has worked hard for many years and will be greatly missed. I appreciate the confidence the board has in me to be chosen as executive director.”
UETHDA hosts the Head Start Program, Community Service Block Grant Program, Individual Development Account Program, Emergency Assistance for Food and Shelter Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, USDA Commodity Program and Weatherization Assistance Program.
“We are eager and happy to have Mr. Jaynes join our agency,” board Chairwoman Gaye Collins said in a news release Friday. “We are confident that he can lead the agency in a direction that will continue to provide the best service to the people of the region.”
In September, the FTHRA offered exit incentive packages to 13 NET Trans administrators and two mechanics. FTHRA Executive Director Jason Cody said Friday that Jaynes had accepted the offer and that his last day as transportation director was Oct. 25.
“Tim left us to pursue other options, and we’re very supportive of that,” Cody said Friday. “I did know there was a vacancy for that position, and they had been actively recruiting for that. He parted on good terms.”
Cody said NET Trans will continue operating without a director for now.
“It’s kind of an interesting situation, he said. “I feel pretty confident we can carry on with what we have, and I think we will fill that position eventually. We’ll likely be filling it internally.”
The agency’s Governing Board approved the offer presented to employees at a Sept. 20 meeting. They were not mandatory layoffs. However, the incentives — $500 for each year of service — were put on the table for what Cody called NET Trans’ “back office,” which also included Operations Manager Candice Gump as well as its billing operations supervisor, call center manager, scheduling coordinator, dispatcher and so on.
Cody cited stagnant revenues as the reason to offer the incentives, but did not say how the staff would be replaced should a majority of them decide to leave. The transportation division has been dealing with higher fuel costs and lower transit revenues, and for that reason, the severance packages were offered, Cody said.
NET Trans is one of several services provided by the FTHRA, which is headquartered in Johnson City. The agency offers transportation, nutritional services, adult day services, shelter for domestic violence victims, senior employment, homemaker services and other social services.
The nonprofit agency relies on financial support from local governments, United Ways, grants, foundations, fundraisers and private donors.