Lee announces $25M in vocational education grants

Gov. Bill Lee’s administration is announcing $25 million in grants under his vocational education initiative, a major part of the Republican’s campaign platform last year

Here’s the release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced projects receiving funding through the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program which prioritizes learning opportunities in rural counties and enhances career and technical education statewide.

“We are proud to work with the General Assembly to pass the GIVE initiative and expand career and technical education for Tennessee students,” said Lee. “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 to incentivize collaboration at the local level among stakeholders such as higher education institutions, K-12 and economic development partners.

The award process began in June when the Tennessee Higher Education Commission issued a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP). 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 to increase the state’s competitiveness and postsecondary attainment goals.

The program prioritized economically distressed and at-risk counties in the RFP process. The 28 funded projects will serve all economically distressed counties and 18 of the 24 at-risk counties.

The Appalachian Regional Commission index of economic status categorizes counties as at-risk or distressed based upon their three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rates. Distressed counties rank among the 10% most economically distressed in the nation while at-risk counties rank between the bottom 10% and 25% of the nation’s counties.

The full list of GIVE projects and recipients:

Project Title Recipient Amount
Career-Aligned Learning Pathways Project: Implementing NCCER National Industry Certification TCAT Athens $   111,002
Welding Program Expansion – Giles County TCAT Pulaski $   310,146
Innovative New Vocational Education in the State of Tennessee (INVEST) TCAT Jacksboro $   750,000
Cyber Defense Mobile Columbia State Community College $   841,320
Trane Training Lab: New HVAC Training Program with Alcoa City Schools TCAT Knoxville $   892,745
Jackson-Madison County Manufacturing Alliance: An Educational Pathway to Student Success TCAT Jackson $   927,580
Teaching Innovative Learning Technologies (TILT) Motlow State Community College $   949,410
Developing the Healthcare Workforce for Today Chattanooga State Community College – Southeast Tennessee Development District $   976,254
Digital Agronomy Program TCAT Covington $   978,813
Northeast Tennessee STEM to Work TCAT Elizabethton $1,000,000
BRIDGE to Work TCAT Dickson – Northern Middle TN Workforce Board $   987,699
Regional Transportation Education Center TCAT Crump – The Ayers Foundation $   997,688
GIVE Blount County Careers Collaborative (BC3) Pellissippi State Community College $   998,416
Northeast Tennessee IT Career Accelerator Pathway Northeast State Community College $   998,823
GIVE Knox County Careers Collaborative (KC3) Pellissippi State Community College $   999,874
Fast Forward for Success (F3S) Roane State Community College $   999,950
Tennessee Central Cooperative Manufacturing WBL Program TCAT Hartsville – Tennessee Central Economic Authority $   994,995
Advanced Technologies Apprenticeship Institute Cleveland State Community College $   999,956
Partnership in Agricultural Education (PAE) TCAT Crump  $   999,978
Five Rivers Partnership for Future Ready Pathways TCAT Morristown $1,000,000
Investing in Vocational Education in Three Distressed Counties TCAT Oneida $1,000,000
Fabricating a New Workforce in Clay County through Welding Technology TCAT Livingston $1,000,000
CNA to BSN (C2B): A Prescription for Nursing Shortages for Rural West Tennessee Dyersburg State Community College $1,000,000
Machining in Warren County – Shaping Your Career TCAT McMinnville – Upper Cumberland Development District $1,000,000
Southwest Tennessee Alliance for Advanced Manufacturing Programs TCAT Whiteville $1,000,000
Diesel Maintenance TCAT Livingston $1,000,000
GIVE Technical Skills to Rise Above Distressed to Best TCAT Hohenwald $1,000,000
GO TECH: Growing Opportunities with Technology Volunteer State Community College – Greater Nashville Technology Council $1,000,000

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