Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee General Assembly Invests More in TCAT Vocational Training



The Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) 2.0 is designed to foster long-term regional partnerships between Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), community colleges, industry, economic development/workforce agencies, and K-12 to identify and address “skills gaps” in local workforce pools. Through data-driven and collaborative work, Tennessee can ensure that education institutions are producing the credentials employers need while also driving new industry to the state.

The GIVE program facilitates the alignment of local workforce and education partners through a $25 million competitive grant process. These funds are available to local collaboratives through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by THEC.



Grants of up to $1 million will be available to local collaboratives for periods of up to thirty (30) months to facilitate the development and implementation of employer-driven career pathways that include both K-12 local education agencies (LEAs) and higher education institutions. Proposals must identify and address local community/regional skills gaps through one (or a combination) of the following methods:

  1. Enhance, expand, and/or acquire equipment to develop an academic program that creates a pathway from secondary to postsecondary, culminates in a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree, and fills a critical and demonstrable local workforce need.
  2. Develop and implement collaborative, meaningful, and structured work-based learning (WBL) experiences (defined in detail on pages 4-5). Successful applicants must demonstrate how they will create or expand the infrastructure necessary to sustain successful WBL programs. WBL experiences may culminate in experiences such as internships, co-ops, pre-apprenticeships, registered apprenticeships, or clinicals.
  3. Provide industry recognized certifications to meet an identified regional workforce need.

    Governor Bill Lee speaks with Stewarts Creek High School graduate Spencer Hawn whose father ‘Sgt. Asbury ‘Freddie’ Hawn’ was killed in Iraq in 2006. The road in front of the Smyrna Nissan TCAT is named in honor of Sgt. Hawn. Gov. Lee is flanked by Rep. Mike Sparks R-Smyrna, along with Col. Jim ‘Jimmy’ Reed. Colonel Reed served with the late Sgt. Hawn.

Grant applicants must demonstrate the viability of a local collaborative that includes the following mandatory partners:

  1. A Tennessee public institution of higher education. Eligible institutions include TCATs and community colleges. The eligible institution will serve as the fiscal agent for all grant activities and will execute a grant contract with THEC. Any public or private, non-profit, four-year institution may participate as an additional partner, but the primary partner must be a TCAT or community college.
  2. A local workforce or economic development agency (e.g., development district, chamber of commerce, or local/regional Workforce Investment Board). The preferred collaborative structure would include representation from the local/regional Workforce Investment Board.
  3. Two or more area employers representing industry sectors with a demonstrated shortage of skilled workers; these employers should be seeking to employ credentialed graduates from the proposed program.
  4. At least one K-12 local administrator, representing secondary CTE programs of study and work-based learning interests.

    TCAT and Nissan Address Changing Tech Skills in Job Market:


In this round of funding, priority will be given to applicants not funded through GIVE 1.0. However, GIVE 1.0-funded grantees are eligible to apply by addressing the criteria outlined below.

To ensure that GIVE 2.0 is responsive to current workforce needs in each community and does not duplicate previous efforts, collaboratives awarded grant funding during GIVE 1.0 may only participate in GIVE 2.0 via:

  1. The creation of new (not currently offered) educational training programs; and/or
  2. The expansion of GIVE 1.0 programs to counties not served by their GIVE 1.0 program; and/or
  3. Expansion of GIVE 1.0 programs within currently served counties to new site(s) in the area of service.To learn more about the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Centers (TCAT) visit: