Haslam Awards State Workforce Grants To Increase Education Opportunities in West Tennessee

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | 9:48am

Community Development Block Grants Will Create, Expand TCAT Programs

RIPLEY – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today awarded state workforce development grants to two Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) institutions in West Tennessee to expand higher education opportunities and support the Drive to 55 goal to increase the number of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025.

The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) will expand current programs and develop new training programs at TCAT-Ripley and TCAT-Covington in communities with limited higher education options.

“In Tennessee, we’ve created pathways to education with Reconnect and Promise, but we need to make sure adequate programs and training are available to citizens in all parts of the state, not just the urban areas,” Haslam said. “The best jobs plan is an education plan, and these funds will help increase education and job opportunities for Tennesseans.”

TCAT-Ripley received CDBG funds of $380,154 to purchase equipment to expand its industrial electricity program in recently reallocated building space. The new equipment will help meet training demands in the fields of industrial electricity and mechatronics in Lauderdale County and the surrounding area.

TCAT-Covington received $3,260,000 in CDBG funds to construct a state-of-the-art healthcare training facility to provide programs for students in Tipton County and the surrounding area where there is currently a void of skilled healthcare workers. The curriculum will include programs for certificates in licensed practical nursing, dental assisting, and health information technology.

Last month, the governor helped break ground at a new TCAT in Winchester, Tenn., partially funded by $4.9 million in CDBG funds, to increase access to higher education in Franklin County.

Tennessee adults without a degree or certificate can attend Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) tuition-free under the Reconnect program. The recently enacted Tennessee Reconnect Act added community colleges to the program, funded through the lottery for education account. Click here for more information on the Tennessee Reconnect Act.