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SPARC Initiative

Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) Program Structure

The Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) is designed to foster long-term regional partnerships between Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), community colleges, industry, economic development/workforce agencies, and K-12 to identify and address “skills gaps” in local workforce pools. Through data-driven and collaborative work, Tennessee can ensure that education institutions are producing the credentials employers need while also driving new industry to the state.

The GIVE program facilitates the alignment of local workforce and education partners through a $25 million competitive grant process. Local collaboratives will serve as the facilitators for each GIVE grant and must include the following mandatory partners:

  1. A local workforce/economic development agency;
  2. A state institution of higher education (TCAT or community college);
  3. Two or more area employers from sectors facing a demonstrable shortage of workers possessing the requisite skillsets needed; and
  4. A K-12 local administrator representing Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Proposals must identify and address local community/regional skills gaps through one (or a combination) of the following methods:

  1. Enhance, expand, and/or acquire equipment to develop an academic program that creates a pathway from secondary to postsecondary, culminates in a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree, and fills a critical and demonstrable local workforce need.
  2. Develop and implement collaborative, meaningful, and structured work-based learning (WBL) experiences. Successful applicants must demonstrate how they will create or expand the infrastructure necessary to sustain successful WBL programs. WBL experiences may culminate in experiences such as internships, co-ops, registered apprenticeships, or clinicals.
  3. Provide industry recognized certifications to meet an identified regional workforce need.
  • A TCAT or state community college will serve as the fiscal agent on behalf of each local collaborative. Any public or private, non-profit, four-year institution may participate as an additional partner.
  • GIVE Proposals must contribute to the Drive to 55 initiative by aligning training and program goals with postsecondary credentials.
  • Collaboratives must utilize data to identify and confirm industry needs and projections for growth.
  • Applicants must submit letters of support/commitment or a partnership MOU with at least two local area employers citing need and outlining benefits for their industry.
  • Applicants must also submit a letter of commitment or a partnership MOU with the leader of the partnering educational institution demonstrating interest and capacity for program participation.
  • A thorough sustainability plan is required to ensure grant programs will continue to serve the community beyond the grant period.
  • Formal proposals will be submitted to THEC and reviewed for funding by the selection committee. The committee may prioritize geographic distribution of awards as needed.

GIVE Request for Proposals (RFP) Timeline

  • Technical Assistance Webinar: Thursday, July 11, 2019
  • Technical Assistance Presentation at the CTE Institute : Week of July 15, 2019
  • Notice of Intent due: Thursday, July 25, 2019
  • Technical Assistance Meeting: Thursday, August 1, 2019
  • Final proposal due: Friday, September 6, 2019
  • Grant applicants notified of selection: October 2019
  • Technical Assistance Webinar for Grantees: TBD
  • Start date for contracts: November/December 2019

For more information, please contact or