Bailey comments on Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Lee
By Rima Austin | January 10, 2019 7:38 am
In a recent interview with Senator Paul Bailey, of White County, he was asked about his thoughts concerning the governor-elect of Tennessee, Bill Lee.
Bailey said he was looking forward to working on Lee’s agenda to improve partnerships for better vocational, technical, and agricultural education so every student has an opportunity to compete in the workplace.
“We’ve got several initiatives that his transition team has been expressing to those of us in the legislature,” said Bailey. “Obviously, some of his initiatives are near and dear to the legislature, especially over the past four years and that’s to continue to expand vocational education. We have got to make sure that we have a skilled workforce to be able to occupy the jobs that are being created here in the Upper Cumberland as well as across Tennessee.”
Bailey went on to explain that for many years legislation was focused on sending students to four-year colleges. They soon realized they would have to reconsider that approach and consider the students who do not want to go to a four-year university and prefer to go into a vocational trade, such as electrical, plumbing, and welding.
“There are so many of these jobs coming in that are available and require a certain skill set,” said Bailey. “We have to have folks that can not only build factories but can build homes for the people who relocate to work the factories.”
Bailey reiterated that the governor-elect’s number one priority is improving vocational education.
“I think living in a rural area, we are going to have to help our Tennessee College of Applied Technology and our vocational schools,” said Bailey. “When we have vocational schools that are on the campus of our high schools, operated by our local school boards, we have to make sure we are offering them dual-enrollment classes so the students in high school can advance and take college-type classes so they will be fully prepared and ready by the time they reach graduation. I think this is something very important to [the new governor] and something we continue to do.”
Governor-elect Bill Lee’s inauguration will be Jan. 19. Tennessee General Assembly convened as of Jan. 8.