GIVE Community Grants


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/regional workforce pools. Through data-driven and collaborative work, Tennessee can ensure that postsecondary education institutions are producing the credentials existing employers need while fostering growth and bringing new industry to the state.

The GIVE program facilitates the alignment of workforce and education partners through a $40 million competitive grant process. These funds are available to local collaboratives through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

Grants of up to $2 million will be available to local/regional collaboratives for periods of up to forty-eight (48) months to facilitate the development and implementation of employer-driven career pathways that include both K-12 education agencies (LEAs) and higher education institutions. 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 or other resources to develop an academic program that creates a pathway from secondary to postsecondary that culminates in a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree and fills a critical and demonstrable local/regional 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, pre-apprenticeships, registered apprenticeships, or clinicals.
  3. Provide industry-recognized certifications to meet an identified regional workforce need.

Grant applicants must demonstrate the viability of a local/regional collaborative that includes the following mandatory partners:

  1. Any public or private, non-profit, four-year institution may participate as a   partner, but the fiscal agent must be a TCAT or community college.  The fiscal agent will serve as the primary partner for all grant activities and will execute a grant contract with THEC.
  2. A local/regional workforce or economic development agency (such as: development district, chamber of commerce, or local/regional Workforce Investment Board).
  3. Two or more area employers representing industry sectors with a demonstrated shortage of skilled workers; these employers should be seeking to employ credentialed graduates from the proposed program.
  4. At least one K-12 local administrator representing secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study and work-based learning interests.

In this round of funding, all eligible institutions may apply.  However, if an applicant has been funded through GIVE 1.0 and/or 2.0, the following requirements must be addressed:

To ensure that GIVE 3.0 is responsive to current workforce needs in each community and does not duplicate previous efforts, collaboratives awarded grant funding during GIVE 1.0 or 2.0 may only participate in GIVE 3.0 via:

  1. The proposal must involve the creation of new (not currently offered) educational training programs; and/or
  2. The expansion of a program that was not previously funded by GIVE 1.0 or 2.0; and/or
  3. The expansion of GIVE 1.0 or 2.0 programs to counties not served by the institution’s previous GIVE program(s); and/or
  4. Expansion of GIVE 1.0 or 2.0 programs within currently served counties to new site(s) in the area of service; and/or
  5. Establishing a stacked credential within the GIVE 1.0 or 2.0 program.  For the purpose of this RFP, a stacked credential should align with the US DOL definition: “A credential is considered stackable when it is part of a sequence of credentials that can be accumulated over time to build up an individual’s qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs.”

GIVE Webinar

Friday, March 1, 2024 |1:00 p.m. central
Webinar Link