Two Hamblen County colleges will receive nearly $ 3 million in public funds after Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced the grant award on Thursday.
Walters State Community College will receive $ 1.96 million, while Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Morristown will receive $ 1 million.
The money will be used for two programs for Walters State Community College and for a manufacturing partnership program in the Lakeway area for TCAT-Morristown.
“These programs both address critical workforce development needs in our region,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State Community College. “Hospitality and manufacturing are growing sectors and will offer many career opportunities in the years to come. “
The two state-funded Walters State programs known as the Governor’s Vocational Education Investment Grants are the Student Hospitality Internship Experience program and the Training Industrial Manufacturing Excellence program.
For TCAT-Morristown, the beneficiary program will be Five Rivers Partnership for Future Ready Pathways 2.0.
TCAT-Morristown received a $ 1 million grant in 2019 for the program, so this will be the second year in a row for an influx of funds.
The program helps identify the needs of manufacturers and then helps to try to meet those needs.
“Seeing Tennessee College of Applied Technology Morristown’s Five Rivers for Future Ready Pathways partnership recognized as an outstanding project on the Governor’s website was very exciting news,” said Jerry Young, president of TCAT-Morristown. “Knowing that we would be funded to the tune of an additional $ 1 million will allow us to continue implementing a regional workforce development approach that began several years ago.
Young said the grant ensures the program reaches students from all walks of life.
“Our grant allows us to continue to expand industry-needed training opportunities in regional high schools for all students, regardless of their economic background or location,” he said. “This is a victory for students, businesses and industries that need a trained workforce and our great CTE partners. I really want to thank Governor Lee.
Lee’s office said in a press release Thursday that the second round of GIVE grants will fund 13 projects in eastern Tennessee and 27 projects statewide.
The grants have been part of a move Lee has taken since taking office, saying he wanted to inject more money into vocational education within the state to help further train the workforce. It specifically targeted the development of the rural workforce.
“Developing the rural workforce has been one of my top priorities from day one, and I am happy to see the remarkable progress we are making,” Lee said in a statement. “By developing a highly skilled workforce, the life of Tennessean is transformed and businesses are choosing to invest and grow in our state at record rates. “