The Labor Education Alignment Program Grants (LEAP) support Drive to 55 by aligning workforce needs with higher education
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the recipients of the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) competition, a state initiative that supports the Drive to 55 by awarding grants to community and academic partnerships formed to help communities align workforce needs with higher education.
“If we can eliminate gaps in the skills needed by local manufacturers and other companies and the types of degrees and courses offered by local community and technical colleges, we can strengthen our workforce to meet industry demands,” Haslam said. “These LEAP grants help create programs that tie specific training and skills to current workforce needs, helping more Tennesseans qualify for good, high paying jobs. This is a key piece of our Drive to 55 campaign to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.”
The General Assembly appropriated $10 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget for LEAP grants. Among the many recipients across the state the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) awarded TCAT Hartsville/Lebanon $944,009.
Rep. Susan Lynn who the legislative member on the board of GNRC stated "This grant will make a tremendous difference for our area students."
The LEAP competition required applicants to respond to a competitive Request for Proposals that was released on May 4, 2016. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Governor’s Workforce Subcabinet, consisting of commissioners and staff from the following agencies:
Tennessee Board of Regents
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee Department of Education
Tennessee Department of Human Services
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
About the Drive to 55
In 2013, Governor Haslam launched the Drive to 55 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. As a result, the Drive to 55 has established the Tennessee Promise program, the nation’s first scholarship and mentorship program that provides high school graduates last-dollar scholarships to attend two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees; reduced the number of college freshmen requiring remediation through the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program; provided free technical college for adults through TCAT Reconnect Grants; created Tennessee Reconnect + Complete to help more adults return to college to complete unfinished degrees; developed a more comprehensive state approach to serving student veterans; and leveraged technology to enhance classroom instruction and college advising.