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Dyersburg State Receives Nearly $600K Workforce Development Grant

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; September 17, 2013:

DYERSBURG – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced a $589,000 workforce development grant for Dyersburg State Community College to help meet the advanced manufacturing needs of the area.

The governor proposed and the General Assembly approved $16.5 million in this year’s budget for equipment and technology related to workforce development programs at Tennessee colleges of applied technology and community colleges, part of Haslam’s “Drive to 55” effort to increase the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials.

“Currently only 32 percent of Tennesseans have certificates or degrees beyond high school, and studies show that by 2025, that number must be 55 percent to meet workforce demands,” Haslam said. “We must have qualified Tennesseans to fill those positions, and these grants are going to have an immediate impact because these programs have high placement rates in fields that are looking to fill jobs now.”

This $589,022 grant will help the college establish two advanced manufacturing labs – in Dyersburg and Tipton County – and move forward with its proposed Associate of Applied Science degree in Advanced Manufacturing. The program will have industry-recognized certificates embedded in the curriculum including: the certified production technician and four mechatronics certificates.

In addition, to ensure a future pipeline of students and skilled workers in advanced manufacturing, Dyersburg State is partnering with area high schools through dual enrollment to offer advanced manufacturing courses to high schools students. And the college is working with the Colleges of Applied Technology at Covington and Newbern to ensure students there can easily transfer into this new program. This program will also allow working adults to improve their skills to enable them to apply and obtain new advanced manufacturing jobs.

These strategic investments resulted from the governor meeting with businesses and education officials across the state last fall to better understand workforce development needs. One of the most common themes he heard was the lack of capacity and equipment at Tennessee colleges of applied technology and community colleges to meet job demand, so these grants are aimed at addressing those gaps.

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Haslam Awards Memphis Schools $2.7 M in Workforce Development Grants

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; September 16, 2013:

MEMPHIS – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced more than $2.77 million in workforce development grants to the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Memphis (TCAT) and Southwest Tennessee Community College.The governor proposed and the General Assembly approved $16.5 million in this year’s budget for equipment and technology related to workforce development programs at Tennessee colleges of applied technology and community colleges, part of Gov. Haslam’s “Drive to 55” effort to increase the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary credentials. Today’s announcement totals $2,774,488 in state funds for workforce development.

“Currently only 32 percent of Tennesseans have certificates or degrees beyond high school, and studies show that by 2025, that number must be 55 percent to meet workforce demands,” Haslam said. “We must have qualified Tennesseans to fill those positions, and these grants are going to have an immediate impact because these programs have high placement rates in fields that are looking to fill jobs now.”

TCAT – Memphis will receive grants of $550,000 and $663,398 respectively for equipment to enhance its programs in two areas: the Avionics and Aircraft Maintenance programs and the Advanced Manufacturing program. The Avionics and Aircraft Maintenance funds will provide equipment comparable to industry standard by funding an Aeroism Boeing Virtual Procedures Trainer, improving the hands-on training offered. The Advanced Manufacturing funds for TCAT – Memphis will upgrade program equipment, including a new lab expansion, and increase the number of national certifications available for students.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is receiving $1,550,090 for its mechatronics program that integrates business training programs and credit programs to provide students a pathway from adult training to an academic award. The funding will allow Southwest to expand capacity and increase its capability to provide training in multiple locations from Covington to Memphis and into western Fayette County.

These strategic investments resulted from the governor meeting with businesses and education officials across the state last fall to better understand workforce development needs. One of the most common themes he heard was the lack of capacity and equipment at Tennessee colleges of applied technology and community colleges to meet job demand, so these grants are aimed at addressing those gaps.