Alexander, Frist applaud $1.8 million Labor Grant to Southwest Tennessee Community College

Funding Expands Memphis Bioscience Initiative

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 $1.8 million grant to Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis under President Bush’s Community-Based Job Training Initiative (CBJTI). The senators also commended Southwest Tennessee Community College 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 Southwest Tennessee Community College will provide students with the necessary knowledge and experience to enter the job market 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 Southwest Tennessee Community College to secure these funds." Southwest Tennessee Community College’s award of $1,829,320 will expand the existing Memphis Bioscience Initiative by increasing the college’s capacity to train biotechnology workers in the two highest growth local sub-sectors: Orthopedics, Neurological & Medical Device Manufacturing and Drug and Biologics Research & Production. Under the proposal, 375 high school students will be trained through dual enrollment and summer institutes for secondary students, and 65 individuals will receive training. Tennessee will receive a total of $6.57 million in grants to four community colleges under CBJTI. In addition to the $1.8 million grant to Southwest Tennessee Community College, Cleveland State Community College is receiving $861,840; Jackson State Community College is receiving $1.9 million; and Walters State Community College is receiving $1.9 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.