CSCC Awarded 2 GIVE 2.0 Grants By Governor Bill Lee

Friday, November 19, 2021
Cleveland State Community College was awarded two Governors Investment In Vocational Education 2.0  (GIVE) grants by Governor Bill Lee, totaling $1.8 million in new funding. The funding will support two Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) programs to meet the growing needs in Southeast TN. 

The first grant funds the Monroe County school district’s Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP) with Major Concentration in HVAC and Refrigeration in the amount of $941,091. The second grant funds the Meeting the Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Demand in Southeast TN - A Rural Partnership between Business and Education.
This covers the college’s Polk and Meigs district areas in the amount of $877,800. This grant prioritizes learning opportunities in the college’s rural counties and enhances career and technical education statewide. Students who participate in the MEP programs will have the opportunity to attain dual-credit, dual enrollment and industry certifications. 

In 2019, Cleveland State was awarded GIVE 1.0 funds for the Advanced Technologies Institute, which has allowed CSCC to enhance student's educational experiences. With GIVE 2.0 funds, the two MEP programs will carry the momentum from ATI by engaging with K-8 students and parents, increasing recruitment of high school students, providing externships for instructors and expanding community and industry connections that promote technical career exploration.

“The Cleveland State service area is largely rural,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC president. “In many respects, rural areas were hit harder by the pandemic than urban areas. In addition, fewer individuals in rural areas seek post-secondary credentials. These grants will provide great opportunities in three of our counties that truly need workforce development enhancement.”

With GIVE 2.0 funds, CSCC will be able to establish a program with the Monroe County school district that provides students with several industry certifications and a post-secondary certification in HVAC and Refrigeration. Equipment purchased with the grant funding will allow the college to provide training to students at the Cleveland State Community College Monroe County Center in Vonore, Tn. 

The college will be able to influence more students by providing training on high school campuses and adding equipment to the Monroe Center that will allow students from Sequoyah and Tellico Plains High Schools to attend classes their junior and senior years. The MEP program will address critical workforce needs in Cleveland State’s service region by aligning with the Drive to 55 goals, analyzing localized data demonstrating the need for action, and establishing a clear linkage between the proposed grant activities and the local need.

“We are so excited about this opportunity to impact so many students by providing them access to the education, equipment and hands-on experience that is needed to prepare them for their future.” stated Karen Wyrick, dean of STEM/Advanced Technologies at CSCC. 

In Polk and Meigs County, CSCC will be able to expand post-secondary opportunities into some of Eastern Tennessee’s most underserved counties. The MEP program will provide necessary electrical and HVAC equipment at Cleveland State and four high schools in the area. By purchasing recognized industry-specific equipment at all sites, students will receive relevant hands-on experience working with state-of -the-art equipment.

The MEP program will focus on providing technical training and industry certifications (electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians) to students to prepare them for jobs that are projected to experience dramatic growth over the next decade. Secondary classroom instructors' salaries will also be paid for by the GIVE 2.0 grant.

Since creating GIVE, Governor Lee’s first legislative priority, he has invested $50 million in the program to support rural workforce development through technical education. The first round of GIVE funding in 2019 served an estimated 8,000 students, and this second round will serve an estimated 7,500 students. 

“We are especially proud to announce these well-deserved grants during National Workforce Development Week,” said Governor Lee. “Rural workforce development has been one of my top priorities since day one, and I’m glad to see the remarkable progress we’re making. By developing a highly skilled workforce, Tennesseans’ lives are transformed, and companies are choosing to invest and expand in our state at record rates.”

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