Alexander Applaud $1.9 Million Labor Grant to Walter State Community College

Funding Establishes Center for Workforce Education

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 Walters State Community College in Morristown under President Bush’s Community-Based Job Training Initiative (CBJTI). The senators also commended Walters 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 Walters State 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 Walters State Community College to secure these funds." Walters State Community College's award of $1,939,796 will establish a Center for Workforce Education (CWE) to respond to the loss of non-transferable furniture and textile skills in East Tennessee. The Center will serve 400 job-seekers and train 200 students. To address the needs of the advanced manufacturing industry, the Center will renovate an existing building on campus; offer extended operating hours, self-paced learning modules, and video-enhanced training; acquire training equipment used by local industries; and establish outcome tracking and measuring processes. Two credentials will be offered through the Center for Workforce Education: technical certificates in workforce preparedness and industrial maintenance and Associate degrees in industrial technology. Tennessee will receive a total of $6.57 million in grants to four community colleges under CBJTI. In addition to the $1.9 million grant to Walters State Community College, Cleveland State Community College is receiving $861,840; Jackson 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.