Motlow will benefit from Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education
Posted By Kim Swindell Wood | November 25, 2019 10:30 am
By Rachel Auberger
Earlier this month, Gov. Bill Lee announced that the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program, which prioritizes learning opportunities in rural counties as well as enhancing career and technical education statewide, will be distributing grants totaling $25 million to qualifying programs.
Among GIVE recipients were Motlow Community College, which received nearly $1 million, and TCAT Livingston’s Diesel Maintenance and Fabricating a New Workforce, in Clay County, through Welding Technology programs, which were awarded $1 million each.
“We are proud to work with the General Assembly to pass the GIVE initiative and expand career and technical education for Tennessee students,” Lee said. “These funds directly support our workforce development efforts in distressed and at-risk counties and are a key component of our strategy to prioritize rural Tennessee.”
Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved $25 million in the governor’s budget as incentive for stakeholders at the local level, such as higher education institutions, K-12 schools and economic development partners, to collaborate on increasing the state’s competitiveness and postsecondary education attainment goals.
The award process, which began in June, started with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission issuing a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) to counties throughout the state.. Each proposal was required to show local data that clearly identified both workforce needs and a sustainable plan utilizing equipment, work-based learning experiences, or recognized industry certifications.
The program prioritized economically distressed and at-risk counties in the RFP process. The 28 projects that were chosen to be funded through GIVE will serve all of the state’s economically distressed counties and 18 of Tennessee’s 24 at-risk counties.
The Appalachian Regional Commission’s index of economic status categorizes counties as at-risk or distressed based on a combination of their three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rates. Distressed counties rank among the 10 percent most economically distressed counties throughout the entire country. while at-risk counties rank between the bottom 10 percent and 25 percent of the nation’s counties.