Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor; April 16, 2010:
Four-Year Institutions Will Play Critical Role in Reaching Jobs Goals
MURFREESBORO – Speaking with officials at Middle Tennessee State University today, Republican gubernatorial candidate and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam emphasized the important role Tennessee’s four-year higher education institutions will play in helping us become the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
Mayor Haslam, who has been devoting a significant amount of time on the campaign trail to visiting workforce development programs at community colleges and technology centers across the state, called for the state’s colleges and universities to be proactive in developing innovative workforce development partnerships with key businesses and industries.
“The most obvious way the state’s colleges and universities can help us achieve our goal of making Tennessee the best state in the Southeast for jobs is to work together to increase the percentage of the state’s workforce that hold degrees,” Haslam said. “With just over a fifth of Tennesseans possessing a bachelor’s degree in a 21st century economy that requires more education and training than ever, that number has to rise. However, we should also look for innovative ways to create seamless transitions between the college classroom and the workforce.”
During his visit to MTSU today, Mayor Haslam met with representatives from the Concrete Industry Management program. This innovative program is a partnership between an industry that needed to attract talented young managers and a university with the right characteristics and the foresight to recognize the unique opportunity such a program would afford its students.
“The Concrete Industry Management program at Middle Tennessee is a great example of business and higher education coming together to forge a partnership that benefits the school, the students, and the industry,” said Haslam. “It’s important for the state’s colleges and universities to create opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in college and make a smooth transition into the workforce.
“There are examples of colleges and universities across Tennessee creating innovative workforce development partnerships, and as governor I will work to spread these practices by promoting proactive regional efforts to develop a workforce prepared for a 21st century economy,” Haslam said.
Bill Haslam is the two-term Mayor of Knoxville, re-elected in 2007 with 87% of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, he led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees.
Bill and Crissy Haslam have two daughters, Annie and Leigh, and a son, Will, who resides in Knoxville with his wife, Hannah. For more information on Bill Haslam, please visit www.BillHaslam.com.