Motlow State Community College’s Teaching Innovative Learning Technologies (TILT) project will receive almost $1 million in funding through the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program which prioritizes learning opportunities in rural counties and enhances career and technical education statewide.
The announcement that Motlow will receive $949,410 was made by Gov. Bill Lee last week.
“We are proud to work with the General Assembly to pass the GIVE initiative and expand career and technical education for Tennessee students,” said Lee. “These funds directly support our workforce development efforts in distressed and at-risk counties and are a key component of our strategy to prioritize rural Tennessee.”
“Technology is at the helm of our constantly evolving society,” said State Sen. Shane Reeves following the governor’s announcement. “This investment in the Teaching Innovative Learning Technologies project will help ensure our educators have the most up-to-date skills and training needed to utilize cutting edge technology and enhance students’ learning experiences. We were pleased to support this initiative, and appreciate the dedication of Governor Lee to increase technical and vocational education opportunities in Tennessee.”
Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved $25 million in the governor’s budget to incentivize collaboration at the local level among stakeholders such as higher education institutions, K-12 and economic development partners.
The award process began in June when the Tennessee Higher Education Commission issued a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP). Each proposal was required to show local data that clearly identified both workforce needs and a sustainable plan utilizing equipment, work-based learning experiences, or recognized industry certifications to increase the state’s competitiveness and postsecondary attainment goals.
The program prioritized economically distressed and at-risk counties in the RFP process. The 28 funded projects will serve all economically distressed counties and 18 of the 24 at-risk counties.
The Appalachian Regional Commission index of economic status categorizes counties as at-risk or distressed based upon their three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income and poverty rates. Distressed counties rank among the 10 percent most economically distressed in the nation while at-risk counties rank between the bottom 10 percent and 25 percent of the nation’s counties.