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What gives the City of Knoxville, Tenn., such an effective workers’ compensation program, despite the myriad challenges inherent with managing a program for a municipal workforce and all the disparate job types that come with it? 

It’s “the integration of all the different pieces,” says Gary Eastes, risk and benefits manager for the city, this year’s winner of the 5th annual National Underwriter Award for Excellence in Workers’ Compensation Risk Management programs, sponsored by NCCI.

The sheer variety of the workforce in this city, located in the eastern part of the Volunteer State, goes well beyond what is generally found in the private sector. It includes police, road maintenance, fire, recreation, engineering, code enforcement, community development and fleet services, among others, Eastes says.

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