Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow Fall 2017 - Page 6

Tennessee LEAP – Using Collaboration To Eliminate Skill Gaps Developed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2013, the Labor and Education Alignment Program (LEAP) offers competitive grant funds to eliminate skill gaps between the workforce and employer needs across the state. [12] LEAP funds collaborative projects headed by local and regional business and education leaders to identify the most pressing skills gaps and develop strategies to fill those gaps. Governor Haslam’s Workforce Sub-Cabinet reviews grant applications and selects winners, and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) awards grants and provides ongoing support to grant recipients. In 2014, LEAP grants totaling over $10 million were awarded to 12 grant recipients across the state, cultivating partnerships in 51 of Tennessee’s 95 counties and enabling Tennesseans to participate in over 19,800 training and workforce development opportunities. As a result of LEAP 1.0, more than 3,400 high school students enrolled in dual enrollment or dual credit courses for high-demand occupations, and over 14,300 middle school, high school, and college students participated in career readiness programs, including work-based learning experiences, academic clubs, and career exploration programs. In May 2016, LEAP received an additional $10 million appropriation from the Tennessee General Assembly. THEC implemented LEAP 2.0 to accelerate progress towards the Drive to 55, awarding 12 grants with targeted focus on work-based learning initiatives. Building on and expanding the work of Pathways Tennessee, LEAP advances Tennessee students’ postsecondary and career readiness. Closing Skill Gaps In Southeast Tennessee In the rural southeast Tennessee, leaders from Polk, Bradley, McMinn, and Meigs counties have come together to develop a skilled advanced manufacturing workforce through the Regional Apprenticeship Preparedness Program. In consultation with area business leaders, including those from Gestamp and Mars Chocolate North America, educators buil B6V"FvFFW&Vf7GW&rFRC֖ƖTw&BVV@VFW'2Ɩvv666&VW"BFV66VGV6F5DR676W2BGVV&VB6VvP6W'6RffW&w26vrr7GVFVG2Gf6Rg&v66F6&VW"FRw&Bv6V&PW&66RbG&rWVVBg&6WFW"&w&֖rFWf6W2F&&F726W&6SFVW76VRvW"VGV6F6֗76TV&W'B#bTET4DrDRt$d$4RbD%$pP7G6V6F'B6&VW"&VFW72FVW76V