Haslam Awards State Workforce Development Grants to Increase Higher Education Opportunities

Monday, July 31, 2017 | 11:04am

Community Development Block Grants Will Create, Expand TCAT Programs

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today awarded state workforce development grants to two Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) institutions to expand higher education opportunities and support the Drive to 55 goal of increasing the number of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.

The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) will expand current programs and develop new training programs at TCAT-Jacksboro and TCAT-Livingston, both in communities with limited higher education options.

“In Tennessee, we’ve created pathways to education with Reconnect and Promise, but we need to make sure adequate programs and training are available to citizens in all parts of the state, not just the urban areas,” Haslam said. “The best jobs plan is an education plan, and these funds will help increase education and job opportunities for Tennesseans.”

TCAT-Jacksboro received CDBG funds of $84,925 to purchase welding equipment to be housed at the Campbell County High School welding laboratory, allowing both schools to better serve dual enrollment students by implementing welding technology on the high school campus.

TCAT-Livingston received CDBG funds of $1,284,921 to construct a new transportation building to provide hands-on training in two new technical programs: diesel technology and transportation, distribution and logistics, addressing the increasing need in Overton County for these skill sets.

Earlier this month, the governor awarded $380,154 in CDBG funds to expand the industrial electricity program at TCAT-Ripley in Lauderdale County and $3,260,000 in CDBG funds to provide various healthcare programs at TCAT-Covington in Tipton County. In June, Haslam helped break ground on a new TCAT in Winchester, Tenn., partially funded by $4,990,000 in CDBG funds, to increase access to higher education in Franklin County.

Tennessee adults without a degree or certificate can attend TCATs tuition-free under the Reconnect program. The recently enacted Tennessee Reconnect Act added community colleges to the program, funded through the lottery for education account.