NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee 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. 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.
Since creating GIVE, Gov. Lee’s first legislative priority, he has invested $50 million in the program to support rural workforce development through 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.
“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.”
Gov. Lee will highlight rural workforce development tomorrow, November 19, at the East Tennessee Rural Summit in Newport, TN. The Governor’s Rural Summit focuses on at-risk and distressed counties by engaging city and county mayors, education and economic leaders, and cabinet members.
The second round of GIVE grants will fund 13 projects in East Tennessee and 27 projects statewide. The 27 funded projects will serve all economically distressed counties and 25 of the 30 at-risk counties.
Notable projects in East Tennessee that have been awarded GIVE grants in both rounds of funding include the Cleveland State Community College (CLSCC) Mechatronics Technology apprenticeship-like program and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Morristown’s Five Rivers Partnership for Future Ready Pathways (FRP²) which is implementing a regional approach to workforce development that provides expanded opportunities to all students, regardless of their economic background or physical location.
Find more information on the GIVE initiative here and a complete list of GIVE projects and recipients below.