Development

Carter County leaders meet with Gov. Lee on educational partnership

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NASHVILLE — Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby and several other local government leaders and educators met with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday to discuss a proposed education and workforce development project for Carter County students.

The proposal is a collaboration between Carter County government, the Carter County School System, Northeast State Community College, and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton. The plans were shown to Governor Lee to seek support from the state.

Those attending the meeting included Mayor Woodby, Carter County Commissioner Daniel McInturff, Carter County Director of Schools Tracy McAbee, TCAT Elizabethton president Dean Blevins, TCAT Elizabethton Vice President Danny O’Quinn, Northeast State Com-munity College Dean of Science Chris Hitechew and Northeast State Community College professor Nathaniel Weber.

“We are very excited about the opportunities this project will create for our students in Carter County and we are thrilled that Governor Lee is supportive of our goals, Woodby said. “This is a chance for us to invest in our students and give them a first chance at success instead of waiting until something unfortunate happens and they end up in trouble and needing a second chance.”

The proposal has three components which will work hand-in-hand to improve educational and workforce development initiatives in Carter County.

The first component is the development of a centralized career and technical education campus for Carter County high schools at the Workforce Development Complex. This will allow students access to any career and technical education program, not just specific ones from the high school they are attending or part of the transport offerings. It will also decrease program duplication by not having to offer the same program at four different sites.

The second component is the newly developed Summit Project in the Carter County School System through a partnership with Northeast Community College. Through this project, students can access special dual enrollment opportunities which will allow them to earn an associate’s degree at the same time they earn their high school diploma.

The third component is the development of a true dual enrollment program between the Carter County School System and TCAT Elizathtion, which will allow high school students to participate in dual enrollment and earn their career certification while earning their high school diploma.

“Governor Lee was very supportive of our plan and said he was impressed by the cooperative effort by everyone involved to make this happen for our students,” Woodby said. “This project has the potential to have not only a local impact, but a regional and state impact as well.”

Contributed to the Press

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