NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Reconnect to Workforce, a partnership between the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Tennessee Reconnect program and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development that will assist up to 500,000 Tennesseans claiming unemployment benefits to earn a college degree while fulfilling work search requirements.
“As federal unemployment benefits end, we want to ensure Tennesseans have the tools needed to skill up and gain long-term employment,” said Gov. Lee. “There are over 250,000 available jobs in Tennessee and this partnership will remove barriers so Tennesseans across our state can obtain the skills needed to acquire a high-quality job.”
“The biggest challenge in reconnecting Tennesseans to education is often financial hardship,” said Tennessee Higher Education Commission Executive Director Mike Krause. “By removing this hurdle, we’re giving unemployed Tennesseans the opportunity to reskill and find a new path forward in our changing workforce.”
Tennessee Reconnect offers two years of tuition-free community or technical college by establishing last-dollar scholarships for eligible adults who have not yet obtained a degree.
Individuals from high-need populations make up a significant portion of grant recipients, including 58% having dependents and almost 70% making below $50,000. Last year, over 2,000 students were awarded a certificate or degree.
Federal unemployment benefits funded by the CARES Act will expire as claimants reach the maximum 39 weeks of payments in the coming weeks. The last day to claim federal unemployment benefits is December 26, 2020.
More information about Tennessee Reconnect is available here.
What is tnAchieves?
tnAchieves is the partnering organization to the TN Promise Scholarship in 90 of the 95 counties in Tennessee. Its mission is to increase higher education opportunities for Tennessee high school students by providing last-dollar scholarships with mentor guidance.
Visit the following link to learn more and apply to become a mentor: https://tnachieves.org/mentors/learn
Cumberland County needs 12 more mentors to meet this year’s goal!
Message from Boyd:
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused great adversity, it’s also led to great innovation.
From new partnerships and products to new ways of doing business—industries, organizations and teams are evolving in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
At the University of Tennessee, we want to help share these success stories in hopes of supporting and inspiring more collaboration and momentum amidst the pandemic.
To do that, we’ve partnered with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Alliance for Better Nonprofits and launched a new webinar series including:
- 11 unique webinars (60- to 90-minutes each)
- Free and available to the public
- Covering topics ranging from leading remote workers to hosting virtual events
- Featuring 28 speakers, including renowned economist Dr. Matthew Murray, director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy
- Representing Tennessee businesses and organizations, such as AAA, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Zoo Knoxville
I invite you and your constituents to join us. Please also consider sharing information about the webinar series broadly and on your social media platforms.”