LEAP program seeks to better link higher education, industry to enhance ‘Drive to 55’ effort
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced the recipients of the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) competition, a state effort focused on increasing opportunities for Tennesseans to obtain a certificate or degree beyond high school that is aligned with the needs of the workforce in their communities.
Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency and Tennessee College Applied Technology (TCAT) Livingston were awarded $684,000.
“These types of intentional partnerships between local agencies and their colleges or TCATS are what we want to see across the state as a significant piece of the Drive to 55 initiative,” Haslam said in a release. “Tying the training and skills that our colleges are teaching directly to current workforce needs will help more Tennesseans qualify for good paying, high quality jobs.
“The communities and colleges selected as LEAP recipients exemplify the collaboration and alignment between workforce needs and higher education that are at the core of the Drive to 55,” Haslam added.
Funded by a $10 million appropriation by the General Assembly, the LEAP competition required applicants to respond to a competitive request for proposals that was released in September. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the governor’s workforce subcabinet, consisting of commissioners and staff from the Tennessee Board of Regents, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Department of Human Services, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Tennessee Higher Education Commission.