Lee makes vocational education push his first legislative initiative

Bill Lee is inaugurated as Tennessee’s 50th governor on Jan. 19, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s first legislative initiative calls for expanding access to vocational and technical training in Tennessee.

The Lee administration has dubbed it the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education, or GIVE, program.

“We have the opportunity to help students discover quality career paths and gain skills that are needed right now in the workforce by emphasizing career and technical education,” Lee said in a release.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced his first legislative initiative, the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) to expand access to vocational and technical training for Tennessee students. 

“I believe that expanding our vocational and technical offerings will be transformational for Tennesseans and the future of our state,” said Lee. “We have the opportunity to help students discover quality career paths and gain skills that are needed right now in the workforce by emphasizing career and technical education.”

The GIVE initiative is a two-pronged approach that utilizes regional partnerships to develop work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities. Communities will now have the funding and flexibility to build programs that best reflect local needs and work directly with private industry to structure programming. 

GIVE also provides funding for high school juniors and seniors to utilize four, fully-funded dual enrollment credits for trade and technical programs. Previously, high school students only had access to two fully-funded dual enrollment credits. With access to four credits, students will now be better prepared for entry into the workforce within two years of graduation.

“With GIVE, there is now a framework in place to partner with the private sector in addressing gaps in our workforce,” said Lee. “This initiative also puts students in charge of their future by preparing them for a good job right out of high school.”

Two grant programs will fund the initiative: GIVE Community Grants and GIVE Student Grants. Using the framework of the state’s Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP), the governor will recommend new funding in support of work-based learning through GIVE Community Grants. These competitive grants will go to regional partnerships between TCATs, industry, and K-12 to build new programs in work-based learning and apprenticeships, market-driven dual-credit opportunities, and the expansion of industry-informed CTE offerings at local high schools.

GIVE Student Grants will be funded via the Tennessee Lottery and support expanded access to dual enrollment.

“It is time to make sure education in Tennessee embraces multiple pathways to success,” said Lee. “We believe GIVE is a key step for the future of our kids and ensuring we can fill the jobs of tomorrow.” 

13 Responses to Lee makes vocational education push his first legislative initiative

  • James White says:

    Government education has failed. It can not be fixed. Obviously the Governor wants to Train works for his businesses and Not Educate. If a business needs a vocationally trained graduate, make the Business pay for the training. I do not think PUBLIC MONEY should be used to train employees for employers.
    Why should the public money be used for this? The state should not care if you want to be a Doctor, A/C repairman or a beach bum. As long as you are Educated, then the state did their job.

  • Bill Hamilton says:

    The state should care because when people are unemployed they become a burden of the taxpayers, and thus the state. I would rather my tax money be used to train people to be gainfully employed than to pay the bum to sit on his/her couch all day and watch television.

  • Leslie Parsley says:

    James White, did you even read the article?

    1) As for funding: “Two grant programs will fund the initiative” and “GIVE Student Grants will be funded via the Tennessee Lottery and support expanded access to dual enrollment.” Nothing about public monies.

    2) As for education: I don’t see any mention of stripping away the academic requirements associated with graduating from high school.

    Not every kid is college material. Not every h.s. student is interested in graduating. These students fall through the cracks and become unproductive adults. All too often they drop out, thus depriving themselves of any education at all as well as denying themselves the opportunity to learn job skills that will keep them from only earning minimum wages all their lives.

    The funding may be creative but providing solid technical and vocational programs is not new. This should only enhance what we already have in place.

  • James White says:

    Leslie, yes I read the article. Our taxes fund government schools. They keep dumbing down the academic requirements, but yes they did not eliminate them, and they sure aren’t focusing on them either.
    It is not the purpose of education to be Work Training. Or at least it should not be.

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  • Jud says:

    There goes James White again. Did you ever hear the saying that sometimes you just need to be quiet?

  • Eddie White says:

    I disagree with James on a number of issues. His view of the Constitution and the role of government is more limited than mine. I also think James, most of the time, does not provide viable solutions to the problems presented. However, he has ever right to his viewpoint and the right to express that viewpoint on this blog.

    • James White says:

      Eddie, the first step in the solution is for the state to stop accepting Federal money for Education. Then the State can do many things, like get rid of all the ‘common core’ guidelines and all other Federally mandated items. Then the State could reduce the cost of education by eliminating many other items. Then the State could turn over ALL education to the County/City/Local government. Then let the People decide.

  • Donna Locke says:

    I think I’ll have to give up on this blog.

  • Silence Dogood says:

    When a liberal runs into a point of view that they cannot grasp or refute intelligently, they resort to donning their brown shirts.

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