When It Comes To Community College, Governor Haslam Understands

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Governor Haslam’s State-of-the-State address this week was full of the core ideas that he has built his administration around.  One of those core ideas concerns how high school students transition into a local workforce that is demanding a greater degree of competency and aptitude. 

In his speech, the governor outlined his intention to fund the Tennessee Achieves program.  This is a program that has Haslam’s fingerprints all over it.  He was a part of the original pilot in Knox County and has continued to encourage its use across the state.  The program provides last dollar scholarships to community colleges for students who have a financial need or “gap”.  For communities, like Bradley and Meigs County, who already offer this program, it means that graduates can enroll in a local community college without any out-of-pocket expense.  The program is equitable and encouraging.  But what has gone less noticed has been that these current Tennessee Achieves programs have been funded almost entirely through private dollars.  

This is an excellent example of how local communities and private dollars can catalyze policy.  It is an example of how local business and civic leaders see a need and take measures to meet that need, long before government steps up. By proposing the use of state funds to fill this gap, Haslam is building on that hard work and acknowledging the value local communities place on educating their youth for the workplace. 

Working with this program, I have seen the access it can create. I have also seen many occasions where good-hearted people and businesses donate to make those things possible.  If the state assumes the cost of the Tennessee Achieves program, I am sure that these donors will turn their support toward the next issue that needs to be addressed and I fully expect that they will again lead the way.

J. Adam Lowe

J. Adam Lowe is the executive director of the Cleveland State Community College Foundation and serves as the vice chairman of the Bradley County Commission.  He is presently seeking the 22nd District seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. 


My Memorial Day Tribute

Growing up I remember seeing this picture hanging in my great-grandparents’ home and asking my great-grandfather, Homer Taylor, "Granddaddy, who is this?" My grandfather would reply, "Tommy."   Of course, being the age of four or five my next question was, "Who is Tommy?" He went on to explain that Tommy was his son who was killed in the Vietnam War.   ... (click for more)

Too Many Legislators

The last, now nearly eight years, has seen Congress and those high-paid folks not do us much good and instead do us much frustration. No different with our state government and it's now dominance by the Republicans. In a recent Times Free Press the idea of government by cooperation was featured and the number of times one of our elected representatives was truly wishing to ... (click for more)

Unexpected Amount East Ridge Owes On Fire Hall Property Rises To $603,000; City To Apply For Reimbursement

The unexpected amount the city of East Ridge will owe the state on the fire hall property in connection with the Bass Pro development has risen to $603,000. Earlier, East Ridge officials said the payment would be $428,000. City Manager Andrew Hyatt said Monday, "The Tennessee Department of Transportation notified the city of East Ridge that an appraisal of the city’s former ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At House Off Highway 58

A fire broke out on Memorial Day afternoon at a house off Highway 58. A 911 call was made at 12:10 p.m. reporting a house fire at 6019 Hillcrest Dr. The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and found fire showing on an addition to the house. Firefighters worked quickly entering the addition to extinguish the fire from spreading to the main level of the house. ... (click for more)

Gilpin, Stocks Victorious In Chattanooga Chase 8K

John Gilpin has done plenty of training in North Chattanooga and is very familiar with the Chattanooga Chase and the series of hills the oldest race in Chattanooga is known for. Jennifer Stocks has done more than her share of workouts on those roads, so she was fully aware of the challenge she faced when the starting horn sounded. Both were overall winners in this unique 8K ... (click for more)

Golf and Chattanooga Have Lost Another Oehmig

  It was a classic Father’ Day golf picture. No, not Jack and Arnie and their kids relaxing at Augusta National with the Dogwoods blooming. But the Oehmig men – Lew, the family patriarch, with his youngest son, King, and his then two grade school age sons Henry and John, all crowded into, what else, a golf cart and donning that Oehmig glasses look – round, turtle shell-colored ... (click for more)