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. 

Proud Of Desjarlais

As a constituent of Congressman Scott Desjarlais, I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Exum. Mr. Exum insinuated him to be one of the worst representatives in Washington. However, those in Scott Dejarlais' district, of which Mr. Exum is not, calls him one of the best, if not the best in Washington. That is why he was re-elected.  Joey Blevins Conservative ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)

Darrel Jones, 43, Shot And Killed On Central Avenue

Darrel Jones, 43, was shot and killed on Central Avenue on Thursday afternoon. Chattanooga Police responded to the 3600 block of Central Avenue around 3 p.m. on a report of a shooting. They located a single victim, who  succumbed to his injuries on scene. Witnesses to the incident declined to cooperate with the investigation.  Investigators continue ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Early Morning House Fire

A home was damaged by fire early Thursday morning.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received a fire call at  3:48  a.m.  and responded to 1825 Dixon Street with four fire companies. The family inside the home was awakened by a passerby knocking at the door. All of them quickly made their way outside the home to safety.  Once firefighters ... (click for more)

Joseph Goetz Outruns Alan Outlaw For Turkey Trot Title

It wasn’t as cold as it’s been in years past, but the temperature and overall conditions for the 2015 running of the Turkey Trot 8K at the Sports Barn East were almost perfect. Another record crowd showed up for what has become a popular Thanksgiving Day tradition.   And has always been the case, there were a lot of people out there smiling and happy, demonstrating their ... (click for more)

Jones Thankful For Resiliency, Resolve Of 2015 Vols

The day before families gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, Tennessee football coach   spoke about what he and the Vols are thankful for. "It's a time to reflect and we have so much to be thankful and grateful for in really the resiliency and resolve that this football team has shown, the growing of this football team and the growing of this football program," ... (click for more)