Alexander, Frist Applaud $1.9 Million Labor Grant to Jackson State Community College

Funding Focuses on Healthcare and Projected Shortage of RNs

Posted on October 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today applauded the U.S. Department of Labor and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao for awarding a $1.9 million grant to Jackson State Community College in Jackson, Tennessee under President Bush’s Community-Based Job Training Initiative (CBJTI). The senators also commended Jackson State for securing funds in the competitive award process. “Job training for American students helps develop a highly skilled workforce that is vital to our nation’s economic growth,” Frist said. “This grant for Jackson State Community College will provide students with the necessary knowledge and experience to enter the job market prepared well prepared. Senator Alexander and I thank Secretary Chao and the Department of Labor for their commitment to effective job training programs for Tennessee’s community colleges.” "These are exactly the kind of federal dollars that help Tennesseans gain the skills they need to get higher paying jobs," said Alexander. "With almost 400 applicants, these are competitive grants. It's a great compliment to Jackson State Community College to secure these funds." Jackson State Community College’s award of $1,941,632 will focus on the healthcare industry and the projected shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) in rural West Tennessee. The project design calls for at least 100 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to become RNs through a one-year training program with multiple site distance learning technology and clinical simulators. The program will also promote career awareness among 60 middle and high school students through a summer job camp, job shadowing opportunities and a symposium for guidance counselors. Tennessee will receive a total of $6.57 million in grants to four community colleges under CBJTI. In addition to the $1.94 million grant to Jackson State Community College, Cleveland State Community College is receiving $861,840; Walters State Community College is receiving $1.9 million; and Southwest Tennessee Community College is receiving $1.8 million. Community-Based Job Training Grants seek to strengthen the role of community colleges in promoting the U.S. workforce's full potential. The primary purpose of this employer-focused competitive grant program is to build the capacity of community colleges to train workers to develop the skills required to succeed in high growth/high demand industries.