Last week, Governor Bill Haslam proposed the Tennessee Promise initiative, which would fund tuition for a 2-year degree at a Tennessee community college or a diploma at a Tennessee College of Applied Technology for high school graduates. The program would also seek mentors to work with students to empower them to succeed. Cheatham County in its efforts to enhance workforce development already has a team of mentors from the business community that are ready to participate in the Tennessee Promise.
Dean Barber, president/CEO of a site selection and economic development consulting firm in Texas, mentioned the governor’s Tennessee Promise initiative in his Barberbiz blog. “Two big developments in Tennessee this past week have caught my eye and could be of huge significance in terms of site selection. On the face of it, one is good (Tennessee Promise) and one is not so good,” stated Barber.
By the way, the ‘not so good’ is the impending vote by hourly workers at the Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga to be represented by the United Auto Workers. That decision will ultimately be in the hands of a relatively few down in Chattanooga, but vastly improving the skill level of our Tennessee workforce to compete for the jobs of tomorrow can only be an asset in the competition for more expansions and locations.