Community College Consortium targets federal funds

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— More than 30 community colleges within the five-state Tennessee Valley Science and Technology Corridor region have formed an alliance to work more closely together.

 An idea of Lou Rabinowitz, director of workforce and economic development at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn., the alliance is intended to help the colleges better compete for national grants, share curriculum and work together to address regional workforce, economic development and technology initiatives.  Rabinowitz reported that representatives from several of the colleges met at the annual Tennessee Valley Corridor (TVC) National Summit held last May in Somerset, Kentucky to officially organize and launch the new TVC Community College Consortium.

 Dr. Gary Goff, president of Roane State, says the schools will work together to:

  •  Support emerging technologies, workforce development opportunities, and economic development initiatives, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;
  • Collaborate in submitting national grant proposals; and
  • Establish plans to share curricula and resources among the institutions.

 “By working together we can win more grants, develop better workforce programs and serve more effectively the businesses and communities we represent,” said Rabinowitz.  “And by working with the TVC, we can harness and build upon the existing spirit of unity within the five-state region.”

 Colleges represented at the Somerset meeting were: from Tennessee — Roane State Community College (Harriman), Chattanooga State Community College, Motlow State Community College (Tullahoma), Northeast State Community College (Tri-Cities) and Pellissippi State Community College (Knoxville); from Alabama — Calhoun Community College (Limestone); from Kentucky — Somerset Community College and Ashland Community and Technical College; and from Virginia — Mountain Empire Community College (Big Stone Gap).  The Tennessee Board of Regents and several regional business leaders also participated in the Somerset meeting.  

 Institutional membership in the consortium is limited to publicly funded community colleges within the ten Congressional Districts that define the Tennessee Valley Corridor. Additional plans and progress reports will be shared by the TVC Community College Consortium at an upcoming Corridor event, which is being planned for December 9-10, in Kingsport, Tennessee. 

 For more information or to become a partner in the TVC Community College Consortium, please contact Lou Rabinowitz at Roane State Community College at (865) 481.2037 or rabinowitzlo@roanestate.edu.