On Nov. 18, Gov. Bill Lee announced projects receiving funding through the second round of the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program, which prioritizes learning opportunities in rural counties and enhances career and technical education statewide. A total of $24,939,853 will help fund 27 programs and projects at 21 community and technical colleges in the College System of Tennessee, governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
TCAT McMinnville in partnership with the Upper Cumberland Local Workforce Development Board, Motlow State Community College, Cannon County High School, Coffee County High School, DeKalb County High School, Grundy County High School, Warren County High School, and nine area industries were awarded $739,840 to develop additional dual enrollment and work-based learning opportunities. Through this partnership, students will gain the technical and workplace skills required by the current workforce demand. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to earn an industry recognized certification as well as a postsecondary credential by the time they graduate high school.
"This is an exciting opportunity for TCAT McMinnville and our partners. Partnerships like this are what it takes to effectively reach students and help prepare them for a rewarding career in a high demand industry,” said Dr. Melody Edmonds, president of TCAT McMinnville
Specifically, the project led by TCAT McMinnville, Building Sustainable Early Postsecondary Opportunities: A Regional Approach, will include the development of five new dual enrollment courses in each of the five partnering county high schools. TCAT McMinnville will develop the Building Construction Technology course at Cannon, Dekalb, Grundy, and Warren County High Schools, and the Welding Technology course at Coffee County High School. Also included in the project is a Career Exploration Day for seventh grade students to visit and tour TCAT McMinnville and Motlow State Community College to learn about the various programs and career possibilities available.
“We are especially proud to announce these well-deserved grants during National Workforce Development Week,” said Gov. Lee. “Rural workforce development has been one of my top priorities since day one, and I’m glad to see the remarkable progress we’re making. By developing a highly skilled workforce, Tennesseans’ lives are transformed, and companies are choosing to invest and expand in our state at record rates.”
Since creating GIVE, Gov. Lee’s first legislative priority, he has invested $50 million in the program to support workforce development through career and technical education. The first round of GIVE funding in 2019 served an estimated 8,000 students, and this second round will serve an estimated 7,500 students.
“The programs, projects and partnerships funded by this second round of GIVE grants will enable our community and technical colleges to expand their training opportunities for Tennesseans to learn the skills and earn the credentials they need to succeed in high-demand careers across the state – changing the trajectory of their families' lives forever," TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said. "We’re grateful to Governor Lee, members of the General Assembly, and our partners in state and local agencies for providing resources to help our colleges continue powering Tennessee’s economy by training the workforce for jobs that employers desperately need to fill.”
Tennessee has made notable progress in rural workforce development in recent years which has resulted in securing over 24,000 new jobs and nearly $13 billion in capital investment in rural counties since 2019.
Find more information on the GIVE initiative here. The list of second-round GIVE projects and recipients:
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