Governor Bill Lee today 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 Dickson, Hickman County School System, and Hickman, TN ECD were awarded $1,000,000 in an effort to develop a new HVAC program and to enhance an existing culinary program. Students will gain technology knowledge and skill coupled with dual enrollment credit and co-op experience with employers.
"We could not be more thrilled with this opportunity to provide these students the ability to learn marketable skills while still in high school. When they graduate, they will have skills that will enable them to directly enter the workplace or to continue their postsecondary education," noted Dr. Arrita Summers, president of TCAT Dickson.
Other GIVE grants awarded across the state will enable statewide expansions of training programs in such high-demand fields as Cybersecurity, Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, Construction, Automotive Technology and more. The 27 funded projects will serve all economically distressed counties and 25 of the 30 at-risk counties.
“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: