Two UC programs receive national nods

nadoCOOKEVILLE – Two Upper Cumberland programs have received nods from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), an advocacy group for regional development organizations.

The Upper Cumberland Tennessee Reconnect Community and Senior P.R.E.P. were awarded 2016 Innovation Awards for their creative efforts in advancing regional economic development and improving residents’ quality of life, said officials with the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD).

UCTRC, led by the Highlands Economic Partnership and the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, is part of a statewide network of communities developed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to reconnect adults to post secondary education opportunities. The program has received strong regional support due largely to the grassroots efforts from business leaders, higher education institutions, economic and community development representatives and community members throughout the Upper Cumberland who had a common vision to improve the region’s workforce before the program’s creation.

Senior P.R.E.P., led by the Upper Cumberland Area Agency on Aging and Disability, addresses the needs of seniors by providing education and resources to aid in emergency preparedness. Their successful collaboration with Walgreens on a regional level continues to increase exposure of the program throughout the Upper Cumberland.

“Both Upper Cumberland Reconnect and Senior P.R.E.P. provide services that improve the quality of life for residents in the Upper Cumberland,” Mark Farley, UCDD executive director, said. “We would like to congratulate those who have made these award-winning programs successful.”

Since the creation of the Innovation Awards program, NADO has recognized more than 1,500 projects that showcase innovative efforts in a variety of areas, including business and economic development, community health initiatives, emergency planning, brownfields, sustainability, technology, transportation, workforce development and many others.

As a NADO member, the UCDD submitted the award applications on behalf of the Upper Cumberland region and both programs. UCDD provides regional planning and assistance to 14 counties to promote economic growth and community enhancement. For more information, visit or




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