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GIVE Program

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

1.     Can a collaborative include both a state community college and a Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) as members? One serving as primary partner and the other as a separate collaborative partner?

Yes.  A collaborative can include more than one postsecondary institution. The RFP does not limit the number of postsecondary partners involved in the proposal.  One TCAT or state community college must serve as the fiscal agent. Any public or private, non-profit, four-year institution may participate as an additional partner, but the primary partner must be a TCAT or community college.

2.     Can a TCAT and community college collaborate as co-primary partners? One as fiscal agent, maybe sub-awarding to the other?

Yes. The institutions may be co-primary partners with one serving as a fiscal agent.  A contract/MOU between the two TBR institutions should be developed to handle any sub-award.

3.     As a K-12 school system, may we partner with a community college for one submission and TCAT for another submission?

Yes. A K-12 school system may be a partner on more than one grant; however the grant submission should be coordinated so that the proposals do not duplicate efforts/programs. 

4.     Can a primary partner submit more than more application? For example, if a postsecondary institution serves two separate and distinct counties with very different workforce needs, can two separate projects be submitted for consideration?

Yes.  Multiple applications by a primary partner may be submitted for consideration. 

5.     Since the grant fiscal agent is the TCAT or Community College, would they be the institution that submits the grant application?

The Lead entity should submit the grant application.

6.     Could a chamber of commerce be the fiscal agent?

No. A chamber of commerce may not serve as the fiscal agent.  A TCAT or state community college must be the fiscal agent. . If the grant serves more than one postsecondary institution, one should be chosen as the fiscal agent for the submission.

7.     Can any partner in a collaborative be a partner on another grant proposal for GIVE?

Yes.  Any partner can be involved in multiple submissions.

8.      Can the fiscal agent be a state university or does it have to be a TCAT/CC?

No. The fiscal agent may ONLY be a TCAT or state community college.

9.     Can the fiscal and the lead agency be the same entity?

Yes.  As stated on page 3 of the RFP, the fiscal and the lead agency can be the same entity.

10.     Can equipment be purchased to enhance or expand an existing program?

Yes.  Equipment may be purchased to start a new program or enhance/expand an existing program.

11.     May salary and benefits for instructors be included in the proposal?

Yes. Salary and benefits for an instructor may be included in the proposal.

12.     May salary and benefits for a program manager be included in the grant?

Yes; however these items are considered administrative costs and may not exceed eight (8) percent of the total grant budget.

13.     May space leases be included in the proposal?

Yes. Space leases may be included in the proposal.

14.     May the proposal include new construction?

No. A GIVE proposal may not include a request for new construction.  In addition, building an addition on to an existing structure is considered new construction for the purpose of this grant and would not be eligible for funding.

15.     May the proposal include renovation of space?

Yes. Proposals including renovation of space will be considered. For example, ventilation renovation to accommodate a welding program would be considered for funding.

16.     Can grant administration fees be covered by the GIVE grant?

Yes. Indirect costs of up to eight (8) percent of the total grant budget are allowed as a part of the submission.

17.     Can grant funds be used to stipend a coordinator that is external to the lead institution for coordinating larger events like a career expo or similar event?

Yes. Stipends as described in the question above are allowed as part of the submission.

18.     Can grant funds be used to reimburse WBL salaries paid by employers? 

This will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and will only be approved in cases of high demonstrated demand.  Reimbursement requests should not exceed 50% of the salaries paid by employers.

19.  Is there a required match for the purpose of this grant proposal?

No. Matching funds are not a requirement of this grant.

20. Can grant funds be used to stipend teachers or counselors for externships?  An externship being classified as an after-hours activity where the teachers tour postsecondary institutions, chambers of commerce or economic development organizations, and then spend a week in a local industry. 

Yes. Stipends as described above are allowed as part of the submission.

21. Can grant funds be used for secondary teachers’ salaries for teaching a special manufacturing camp or similar activity that would be outside of the normal day?  Possibly a summer camp or an after school activity.


22.  Are salaries allowed under indirect cost?

Yes. Indirect costs of up to eight (8) percent of the total grant budget are allowed as a part of the submission.

23.  If covering a salary, how long can the grant cover the salary?

The grant may cover salary for through the contract termination date. The grant term will be 30 months beyond the contract start date.

24.  Is there an opportunity for being awarded any additional funds that surpass the one million dollars?

Individual grant awards are only allowed to be up to $1 million; however collaborative partners may participate in more than one grant application.

25. May the grant be used to pay for students' costs associated with industry recognized certifications?

Yes. Students’ costs associated with industry recognized certifications may be considered.

26.  Can student transportation for WBL experiences be included in the budget?

Cost for group transportation may be included in the budget. Individual student transportation (gas cards, Uber, reimbursement, etc..) may not be included as part of this grant.

27.     Are the Economic Status points based on counties served by the APPLICANT, or by the specific PROJECT/PROPOSAL?

Economic Status points will be awarded based on PROJECTS/PROPOSALS that serve “at-risk” or “distressed” counties.

28.     What are the maximum points awarded under Section 2 Program Plan to proposals without a Work Based Learning (WBL)?

In Section 2 Program Plan, a maximum of seven (7) points will be awarded to grants without a WBL component.

29.     Would the application score higher if more than one county was a partner?


30.     Can the grant include activities aimed at adults or do they need to primarily be focused on K-12 students?

Both are eligible for submission.  The purpose of the grant is to facilitate the development and implementation of employer-driven career pathways that include both K-12 local education agencies (LEAs) and higher education institutions.

31.     What is the timeframe to get programs started?

The estimated contract start date will be November/December 2019.  The grant term will last 30 months beyond the contract start date.

32.     Will the presentation be accessible at a later date?

All technical assistance meetings will be recorded and sent to registrants following the close of the session. In addition, the recording will be posted on THEC’s website at GIVE Information for future viewing.

33.     Can nationally recognized industry certifications be supported through this grant as part of a non-credit program or are only credit-bearing credentials allowed?

Yes.  Nationally recognized industry certifications may be supported through the grant as part of a non-credit bearing program as long as the certification is used as a pathway or bridge between secondary and postsecondary programs.

34.     Must WBL experiences be paid? Also, would activities/problem-based learning brought to the classroom from the employer count as WBL?

No, WBL experiences do not have to be paid experiences.  Yes, activities as described above brought to the classroom by employers count as WBL.

35.     Can we use data sources beyond those identified in the RFP?

Yes. Other data sources may be used other than the ones identified on page 6 of the RFP.  If the workforce need is created from a new employer in the area that is not reflected in current data, please ensure that the employer expressly states this need as a part of the partnership MOU or letter of commitment/support.

36.     Does the proposal have to be a narrative or can we include charts and tables?

Charts and tables may be included in the body of the grant or as an appendix.

37.      On page 4 of the RFP pertaining to WBL, "exposure to multiple career options" - can this be different options in the same field?

Yes. WBL career options can be within the same field.

  1. Chattanooga Chamber Foundation | Chattanooga State Community College
  2. Cleveland State Community College
  3. Columbia State Community College
  4. Columbia State Community College
  5. Columbia State Community College
  6. Columbia State Community College
  7. Cheatham & Dickson Counties Economic Development | TCAT Dickson
  8. Dyersburg State Community College
  9. Greater Nashville Technology Council | Volunteer State Community College
  10. Nashville State Community College
  11. TCAT Pulaski
  12. Motlow State Community College
  13. Nashville State Community College
  14. TCAT McKenzie 
  15. Northeast State Community College
  16. TCAT Dickson
  17. Volunteer State Community College
  18. Pellissippi State Community College
  19. Pellissippi State Community College
  20. Roane State Community College
  21. Chattanooga State Community College
  22. Southwest TN Community College 
  23. TCAT Murfreesboro
  24. TCAT Athens
  25. TCAT Covington
  26. TCAT Covington, Ripley, and Newbern (Consortium)
  27. TCAT Crossville
  28. TCAT Crump
  29. TCAT Elizabethton
  30. TCAT Elizabethton
  31. TCAT Harriman
  32. TCAT Hohenwald
  33. TCAT Jacksboro
  34. TCAT Jackson
  35. TCAT Jackson
  36. TCAT Jackson
  37. TCAT Jackson
  38. TCAT Knoxville
  39. TCAT Knoxville 
  40. TCAT Knoxville
  41. TCAT Livingston
  42. TCAT Livingston
  43. TCAT Livingston
  44. TCAT Livingston
  45. TCAT Livingston
  46. TCAT McKenzie
  47. TCAT Morristown
  48. TCAT Oneida/Huntsville
  49. TCAT Paris
  50. TCAT Paris
  51. TCAT Paris
  52. TCAT Pulaski
  53. TCAT Pulaski
  54. TCAT Shelbyville
  55. TCAT Shelbyville
  56. TCAT Whiteville
  57. Tennessee Central Authority | TCAT Hartsville
  58. The Ayers Foundation | TCAT Crump
  59. Upper Cumberland Development District | TCAT McMinnville
  60. Walters State Community College
  61. TCAT Murfreesboro/Smyrna