Martha O'Bryan Center taps TechBridge to support the Tennessee for Economic Mobility (TAEM) initiative.

Martha O’Bryan Center Taps TechBridge to Support the Tennessee Alliance for Economic Mobility (TAEM) Initiative

December 7, 2022

Application of innovative technology will help reduce the “benefits cliff” for families in Middle Tennessee

[Atlanta, ] — TechBridge, a national nonprofit committed to alleviating generational poverty through the innovative use of technology, announced today a continued partnership to support the work of the Tennessee Alliance for Economic Mobility (TAEM)’s initiative. The Martha O’Bryan Center serves as the backbone agency for the 32-partner, seven-county collaborative, with a shared strategy to demonstrate and evaluate a new vision for the Tennessee safety net. TechBridge’s technology solutions and support will aid TAEM in reducing the benefits cliff for families in Middle Tennessee. This project is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee.

The benefits cliff occurs when a family’s increased income triggers an abrupt loss of public benefits that outweighs the increase in income, often substantially. Since the value of the family’s increased income is less than the value of the lost benefit(s), the family is left in a worse financial situation. The benefits cliff creates a disincentive for caregivers to pursue increased education and earnings.

The benefits cliff impacts families who are worse off financially despite moving ahead. This phenomenon pushes people abruptly through the social safety net, throwing their lives off-balance and keeping them in financial limbo. TechBridge applauds the work of the TAEM initiative which aligns with our mission. We are proud to continue to support this public-private partnership and provide technology solutions that serve as an innovative approach to help transform Tennessee’s safety net, said TechBridge CEO Nicole Armstrong.

TechBridge was selected to develop and maintain the transitional benefit calculator to be utilized with families engaged in the TAEM pilot and will develop and maintain TAEM’s shared database. The database will streamline client intake and referrals, standardize family and performance management, record and maintain client and outcome data, and include required documentation associated with the transitional benefit, case notes, and pre- and post-wellbeing assessment data.

Our efforts to remake the way that TANF dollars assist families [to] rise above poverty has been greatly strengthened by our partnership with TechBridge. They were instrumental in helping us demonstrate the financial impact of the benefits cliff. Going forward, their technical support will allow us to prove low dollars have high impact when families can work hard and rise economically without the immediate loss of childcare or other support, said Marsha Edwards, president and CEO of the Martha O’Bryan Center.

In , the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) selected the Martha O’Bryan Center and TAEM to receive a 25-million dollar Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative Implementation Grant to transform how the state supports families in moving out of poverty and into opportunity. The shared strategy of The Martha O’Bryan Center and the TAEM initiative is to pair community-driven wrap-around supports, family-centered coaching, and employment training and pathways with a temporary transitional benefit to mitigate the effects of the benefits cliff and increase Middle Tennessee’s families’ incentive to earn more.

This work and partnership with the Martha O’Bryan Center and TAEM will help improve low-income families’ economic mobility and well-being. With over 20 years of experience providing enterprise-grade software for every size of nonprofit in our four pillars of hunger relief, homelessness, social justice, and workforce development, this work matters and makes a difference in the lives of families in Tennessee and across the nation, said Armstrong.


TechBridge is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization equipping other nonprofits on the frontline of fighting generational poverty with technology. TechBridge supports these nonprofits in expanding the impact of their missions for the millions of men, women, and children seeking aid in the areas of hunger relief, homeless support, social justice, and workforce development. Learn more at


The Martha O’Bryan Center is an anti-poverty non-profit organization with a longstanding history and deep community roots, grounded in tradition and strengthened by innovation. Founded in when Miss O’Bryan organized the Gleaners Society at First Presbyterian Church to support impoverished North Nashville residents, the Martha O’Bryan Center has operated from the heart of Cayce Place — Nashville’s largest public housing community — since . From Cayce Place, they continue in service, partnering with families to open doors of hope and possibility, create a culture of attainment, and positively shape future generations. The Martha O’Bryan Center serves over 15,000 people annually with its programs in early learning, parent empowerment, youth development, adult education, employment coaching, crisis counseling, and public charter schools (East End Prep and Explore! Community School).


The Tennessee Alliance for Economic Mobility (TAEM) is a public-private partnership compromising 32 organizations which has developed an innovative approach to transforming Tennessee’s safety net and ultimately improving low-income families’ economic mobility and wellbeing. The 32 partners include the following community-based organizations, faith-based institutions, government agencies, political subdivisions, economic development organizations, and community and technical colleges in seven Middle Tennessee counties (Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Montgomery, Rutherford, Sumner, and Wilson):

  • A Step Ahead Foundation of Middle Tennessee,Inc.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarksville
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee
  • Catholic Charities of Tennessee
  • Clarksville Housing Authority
  • Dickson County Help Center
  • EDSI Educational Data Systems,Inc.
  • Forward Sumner
  • The Family Center
  • Greenhouse Ministries
  • Manna Café Ministries
  • Martha O’Bryan Center
  • Metro Action Commission
  • Metro Development and Housing Agency
  • Motlow State Community College
  • Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Nashville State Community College — Clarksville Campus
  • Nashville State Community College — Dickson Campus
  • Nurture the Next
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology — Clarksville Campus
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology — Dickson Campus
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology — Hohenwald-Maury County Campus
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology — Nashville Campus
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology — Portland Campus
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology — Hartsville-Wilson County Campus
  • Volunteer State Community College
  • United Way of Greater Nashville
  • The Well Outreach
  • Wilson Works
  • Workforce Essentials, Inc.

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