Somerset Community College and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology win College System of Tennessee’s first Partnership Award
Published on Apr 21, 2020
The College System of Tennessee’s first-ever Partnership of the Year Award is presented to the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Jacksboro and Oneida/Huntsville for a partnership they established, along with Somerset Community College (SCC) in Kentucky, to address workforce needs in eight economically distressed counties in the two-state region.
Established by the Tennessee Board of Regents, the Partnership Award recognizes colleges that have collaborated on new and innovative approaches and initiatives to solve a regional or local problem.
The partnership of SCC and TCATs Jacksboro and Oneida/Huntsville won a $1.5 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission – plus other federal, state and local funding for a total of nearly $2 million – to expand and enhance career and technical education for high school students and adults in the area. Part of the funding will put technical training equipment in 10 high schools and provide new dual-credit and dual-enrollment opportunities for the career and technical education (CTE) programs in those schools.
The Partnership Award is one of three presented to colleges as part of the system’s Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition (SOAR) Awards. The Partnership Award is new to the program this year.
“The partnership that TCATs Jacksboro and Oneida/Huntsville created with Somerset Community College epitomizes what we were thinking when we established this award – to encourage our community and technical colleges to work together, despite whatever service areas and boundaries exist, to best serve the students, other residents and businesses of their communities,” TCATs, Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said. “They were up against some tough competition elsewhere in the state, but I’m proud of all three colleges for this groundbreaking project that will benefit the region for years to come.”
Criteria for the new Partnership Award included a demonstration of equal contributions by the partnering institutions to identifying solutions to a clearly defined problem, the development of innovative programs that support student success and workforce development, and the achievement of measurable and significant outcomes that address the defined problem.
TCATs Jacksboro and Oneida/Huntsville joined with Somerset Community College to develop a consortium that involved four Tennessee counties, four Kentucky counties, eight county governments, 10 school systems, three development districts, eight chambers of commerce, local drug courts, and jail and prisoner partners in the workforce training initiative.
"We are humbled to be recognized and honored to be one-third of this partnership with TCAT Jacksboro and Oneida/Huntsville. The ultimate prize is helping our communities across both states to become more self-sufficient through education and training, and that alone makes all the work from everyone involved well worth it,” said Carey Castle, president of SCC. “I hope we continue to develop future partnerships that contribute to both states and become an example of working together outside our respective systems."
The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded the consortium just over $1.5 million under its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. The total of $1,974,667 in other federal, state and local funding will provide new and enhanced career and technical education and training for high school students, adults who are unemployed or under-employed, people with substance abuse disorders, and incarcerated individuals
“This grant is the largest of its kind ever awarded to any of these three colleges or other colleges in the TBR System,” said TCAT Oneida/Huntsville President Dwight Murphy. “The ARC POWER grant is the beginning of what promises to be a great and expanding partnership among TCAT Oneida/Huntsville, TCAT Jacksboro and Somerset Community College. I am grateful that Chancellor Tydings and the Board of Regents recognized the importance of our partnership to our area in selecting our three colleges for the first Partnership Award.”
Specifically, TCAT Jacksboro will offer a new high school and college Building Construction program. TCAT Oneida-Huntsville will open new high school and college programs in Welding Technology, Truck Driving, Building Construction Technology, Diesel Power Equipment Technology and Industrial Maintenance, and add Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) training programs in additional counties in its service areas.
SCC will expand the capacity of its Practical Nursing and Paramedic programs, and add new nursing programs in two counties in its service area. These programs will be contingent upon Kentucky Board of Nursing approval. This expansion will provide new training opportunities to graduates of the two TCATs.
SCC is currently enrolling for summer and fall courses. Start your pathway to a better life. Please visit our website to enroll in classes today. Somerset.kctcs.edu.