Stories @ TCAT

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the recipients of the Labor
Education Alignment Program (LEAP) competition, a state initiative that supports the Drive to
55 by awarding grants to community and academic partnerships formed to help communities
align workforce needs with higher education.

“If we can eliminate gaps in the skills needed by local manufacturers and other companies and
the types of degrees and courses offered by local community and technical colleges, we can
strengthen our workforce to meet industry demands,” Haslam said. “These LEAP grants help
create programs that tie specific training and skills to current workforce needs, helping more
Tennesseans qualify for good, high paying jobs. This is a key piece of our Drive to 55 campaign
to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent
by 2025.”

The General Assembly appropriated $10 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget for LEAP
grants. Below is a list of recipients:

Local Agency Higher Education Institution Grant Amount
Smoky Mountains Area
Workforce Board, LWDA 2
TCAT Morristown, Walters State
Community College
Local Workforce
Development Board for Area
TCAT Nashville, Nashville State
Community College, Tennessee State
South Central TN Workforce
Columbia State Community College $568,426
South Central TN Workforce
Columbia State Community College $891,536
Southeast Tennessee
Development District
Chattanooga State Community College $939,623
Joint Economic and
Community Development
Board of Cheatham County
TCAT Dickson $400,000
South Central Tennessee
Development District
TCAT Hohenwald $951,790
Greater Nashville Regional
TCAT Hartsville/Lebanon $944,009
East Tennessee Development
TCAT Knoxville $970,000
Workforce Essentials, LWIA
Volunteer State Community College $811,461
Southwest Tennessee
Development District
TCAT Jackson, TCAT Covington, TCAT
Crump, TCAT McKenzie, TCAT
Memphis, TCAT Newbern, TCAT Paris,
TCAT Ripley, TCAT Whiteville
Blount Partnership Pellissippi State Community College,
Cleveland State Community College,
TCAT Knoxville

The LEAP competition required applicants to respond to a competitive Request for Proposals
that was released on May 4, 2016. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Governor’s
Workforce Subcabinet, consisting of commissioners and staff from the following agencies:

 Tennessee Board of Regents
 Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
 Tennessee Department of Education
 Tennessee Department of Human Services
 Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
 Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

About the Drive to 55

In 2013, Governor Haslam launched the Drive to 55 to increase the number of Tennesseans with
a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. As a result, the Drive to 55 has
established the Tennessee Promise program, the nation’s first scholarship and mentorship
program that provides high school graduates last-dollar scholarships to attend two years of
community or technical college free of tuition and fees; reduced the number of college freshmen
requiring remediation through the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support)
program; provided free technical college for adults through TCAT Reconnect Grants; created
Tennessee Reconnect + Complete to help more adults return to college to complete unfinished
degrees; developed a more comprehensive state approach to serving student veterans; and
leveraged technology to enhance classroom instruction and college advising.