Haslam Touring State to Promote Free Adult Education Program

Press Release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, April 5, 2015:

Drive to 55 program for adults to attend a TCAT free of tuition and fees

NASHVILLE – Governor Bill Haslam will travel across the state this week to highlight Tennessee Reconnect, a Drive to 55 initiative for adults to attend a Tennessee college of applied technology (TCAT) free of tuition and fees.

Haslam will kick off the week with an event at TCAT Nashville on Monday before traveling to Jackson and Memphis on Thursday and Chattanooga and Knoxville on Friday.

By 2025, 55 percent of the jobs available in Tennessee will require a post-secondary credential, and currently only 33 percent of Tennesseans qualify. The governor launched his Drive to 55 two years ago to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary degree or certificate.

“Our TCAT’s have an 80 percent graduation rate and an 85 percent job placement rate. To reach our Drive to 55 goals, we know we have to reach adults in Tennessee without a credential and get them back into higher education,” Haslam said. “The state’s ability to attract and retain business is tied directly to the quality of our workforce, and across our 27 technical colleges, students are gaining the necessary skills to succeed and go on to higher paying jobs and better lives.”

Tennessee Reconnect is a last-dollar scholarship program for adults that was part of Haslam’s landmark Tennessee Promise legislation passed last year.

Adults are encouraged to sign up before May 15 for the Tennessee Reconnect program, and they can do so at www.TNReconnect.gov. Applicants will then be guided through the admission and financial aid process by their local TCAT.

A listing of the governor’s Tennessee Reconnect events this week is pasted below:

Monday, April 6
Tennessee Reconnect event
Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville
100 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN
10:30 a.m. CDT
MEDIA – Open, avail

Thursday, April 9
Tennessee Reconnect event
Smith & Nephew, 3303 E. Holmes Rd., Memphis, TN
2 p.m. CDT
MEDIA – Open, avail

Tennessee Reconnect event
Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce
197 Auditorium St., Jackson, TN
3:45 p.m. CDT
MEDIA – Open, avail

Friday, April 10
Tennessee Reconnect event
Tennessee College of Applied Technology Chattanooga
4501 Amnicola Hwy., Chattanooga, TN
Noon EDT
MEDIA – Open, avail

Tennessee Reconnect event
Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville
1100 Liberty St., Knoxville, TN
2 p.m. EDT
MEDIA – Open, avail