Tennessee Daily News Clips, Sept. 5, 2013

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A statewide news summary from the governor's office
  THURSDAY,SEPTEMBER5, 2013Editorial: 'Drive to 55' challengeis way to meet job demands(JacksonSun) On Wednesday, Gov. Bill Haslam ramped up efforts to promote his “Drive to 55” higher education initiative. Hegathered members of the General Assembly, higher education officials and business leaders in Nashville to talkabout workforce development and the state’s and Tennesseans’ economic futures. This is a long-term challengeand an opportunity not to be missed, and one in which everyone has a stake. The goal of “Drive to 55” is to have55 percent of Tennesseans with a two-year higher education degree or certification or a four-year degree by 2025.Currently, only about 32 percent of Tennesseans achieve that goal. But the “Drive to 55” is about more thangenerating college degrees, it is about building the state’s workforce to meet business, manufacturing and serviceindustry employment demands of the 21st century. Studies confirm that many jobs remain unfilled becauseemployers can’t find the skilled workers they need. This follows on the heels of Great Recession double-digitunemployment that still has not recovered. The problem is that many of yesterday’s workers don’t have today’s andtomorrow’s technical knowledge and skills. The only route to building the state’s workforce is through highereducation, post-secondary technical training and rigorous apprenticeship programs.http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20130905/OPINION/309050001/Our-View-Drive-55-challenge-way-meet-job-demands(SUBSCRIPTION) Gov. stepsup effort to increasenumberwith degreesor tech training(CA/Locker) Gov. Bill Haslam moved Wednesday to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or technicaltraining, saying his first job is to “change the culture of expectations” for higher education. The governor assembledabout 500 business leaders, higher education administrators, legislators and others for a status report on his “Driveto 55” initiative and briefings from a pair of national experts on how to better align post-high school education withthe state’s workforce needs. “Drive to 55” means increasing the number of Tennesseans with either formaltechnical training certificates — like welding or auto mechanics — or two-year associates degrees or higher fromthe current 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025. That’s the percentage of jobs projected to require a degree orcertification by that year. Haslam said the state’s current path is toward only about 39 percent of residentsprojected to have a certificate or degree beyond high school by 2025. Reaching 55 percent will require educating494,000 more people than are currently projected. “The drive to 55 is a must because the economy is undergoinga fundamental shift. The high school economy of our parents is gone,” said Jeff Strohl, research director atGeorgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/sep/04/governor-steps-up-effort-to-increase-number-of/ (SUB) Gov. Haslamencouragesmore Tennesseansto choosehighereducation(TN/Sisk) Gov. Bill Haslam sought to build support for his push to get more Tennesseans to continue their education pasthigh school with an event Wednesday at Music City Center. The Tennessee Republican told about 300 business,political and education leaders that the state needs to lift the portion of residents with a college degree or certificateto 55 percent by 2025 to stay competitive economically. That will mean adding about 494,000 college or technicalschool graduates over the next 13 years. In an event that was one part status update and one part sales pitch,Haslam attempted to lay out the rationale for his higher education goals, an initiative he calls the “Drive to 55.” Thegovernor announced the creation of a new website Wednesday but no new policies. Instead, he used the 90-minute presentation to “build awareness” for the programs he’s launched since he first mentioned Drive to 55 in hisState of the State address eight months ago. “The stakes have never been higher,” Haslam told the crowd.http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130905/NEWS04/309050025/Gov-Haslam-encourages-more-Tennesseans-choose-higher-education (SUBSCRIPTION)  GovernorHaslamoutlinescollegeeducationinitiative (MemphisBiz Journal) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam outlined initiatives included in his Drive to 55 initiative, which is designed to increasethe number of Tennesseans with two-year degrees or higher to 55 percent by 2025. According to state statistics,an estimated 32 percent of adults in Tennessee have some sort of college degree. The program was announcedearlier this summer. Among the progress Haslam highlighted to members of the General Assembly and universityand college officials in Nashville, was the launch of WGU Tennessee, an online university created through apartnership between the state, Western Governors University and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation thissummer; a $47 million endowment to provide $2 million in scholarships for students who need financial aid; and$16.5 million earmarked in the state budget for workforce development programs at community colleges. Thefunding is expected to be distributed in the next few weeks.http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2013/09/04/governor-haslam-outlines-college.html Haslamshifts ‘Drive to 55’ Initiativeinto High Gear (Clarksville Online) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam today convened key stakeholders including members of the General Assemblyand leaders from Tennessee’s four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, colleges of appliedtechnology, chambers of commerce, the business community, and the state board of education to discuss thechallenges Tennessee faces in building a strong workforce for today and in the future. “We want Tennesseansworking in Tennessee jobs. We want Tennesseans to have an opportunity to get a good job and for those in theworkplace to be able to advance and get an even better job,” Haslam said. “Currently in Tennessee, only 32percent of us have a certificate or degree beyond high school, and studies show that by the year 2025 that numberneeds to be at least 55 percent for us to keep up with job demand. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2013/09/05/tennessee-governor-bill-haslam-shifts-drive-55-initiative-high-gear/  TennesseegovernorformallylaunchesDrive to 55 program(Times-News) Drive to 55 at first blush might sound like a highway speed-limit program left over from the 1970s. But it is actuallyTennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s 21st century drive to speed up attainment of degrees and certificates byTennesseans, something he said is crucial to the economic future of Tennessee, local governments and theirresidents. Haslam mentioned the program in his State of the State address in January but formally launched itWednesday in Nashville and gave some updates on activities related to it so far. During an editorial board meetingwith the Kingsport Times-News on Tuesday, he and Randy Boyd, special adviser for higher education, gave arundown on the logistics and reasons for the program, which has a website atwww.driveto55.org.http://www.timesnews.net/article/9067020/tennessee-governor-formally-launches-drive-to-55-program  HaslamAnnounces Drive to 55 Plan (WBBJ-TV Memphis) Governor Bill Halsam unveiled a multi-million dollar proposal called the Drive to 55 Plan to help getTennesseeans jobs.cGovernor Haslam says he's investing in Tennessee education, and announced a $35 millionendowment that if approved by state lawmakers would provide nearly $2 million in additional scholarships eachyear. In the next five years, Governor Haslam says more than half of Tennessee jobs will require post secondarycredentials. Governor Haslam doesn't want people to underestimate the power of two-year associates degrees.Cameron Byrd is in his second year at Jackson State Community College. He plans to transfer to the University ofMemphis at Lambuth and eventually become a doctor. I think community colleges are a wonderful thing in thecommunity, Byrd said. They give students the opportunity to stay home and learn in a relaxed atmosphereinstead of having other distractions of college. Joy Weathers is in her first year of the nursing program at JacksonState Community College. The mother of three sees the importance of the governor's plan.http://www.wbbjtv.com/news/local/Haslam-Announces-Drive-to-55-222387791.html GovernorBill HaslamOutlinesPlan to IncreaseHigherEducation(WREG-TV) Governor Bill Haslam talked more in-depth about his plan to boost the number of college graduates in Tennesseeduring an event Wednesday. Haslam highlighted several college education initiatives, including the progress of thestate-backed on-line college, Western Governors University. Governor Haslam also said in the next few weeksTennessee would start distributing a $47 million endowment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, alongwith more than $16 million earmarked from the state budget for workforce development programs at communitycolleges.http://wreg.com/2013/09/04/governor-bill-haslam-outlines-plan-to-increase-higher-education/  2  AverageWageFor TN High SchoolGradsDrops$4,000In Five Years(WPLN-Radio) Governor Sees Moral Responsibility To Intervene The average wage of a high school graduate in Tennessee isfalling, as those with degrees make more money each year. Governor Bill Haslam is using this point to call for adrastic increase in Tennessee’s college completion rate. High school grads with full-time jobs saw average pay slipfrom roughly $39,000 in 2006 to $35,000 in 2011, according to research by Jeff Strohl of Georgetown UniversityCenter on Education and the Workforce. During that same time, those with just a minimum amount of furthereducation received raises, creating a growing gap between education levels. “At the end of the day, this reallybecomes like everything else that’s really important – a moral challenge,” Haslam said Wednesday to a crowd oflawmakers, education officials and business leaders in Nashville. “It becomes important for us to say we won’taccept having a percentage of our population that gets left behind.”http://nashvillepublicradio.org/blog/2013/09/04/average-wage-for-tn-high-school-grads-drops-4000-in-five-years-governor-sees-moral-responsibility-to-intervene/   HaslamAmpsUp ‘Drive to 55 Initiativeto ImproveTN HigherEd Numbers(TNR) ′  Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today convened key stakeholders including members of the General Assembly andleaders from Tennessee’s four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, colleges of applied technology,chambers of commerce, the business community, and the state board of education to discuss the challengesTennessee faces in building a strong workforce for today and in the future. “We want Tennesseans working inTennessee jobs. We want Tennesseans to have an opportunity to get a good job and for those in the workplace tobe able to advance and get an even better job,” Haslam said. “Currently in Tennessee, only 32 percent of us havea certificate or degree beyond high school, and studies show that by the year 2025 that number needs to be atleast 55 percent for us to keep up with job demand. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”http://tnreport.com/2013/09/04/haslam-amps-up-drive-to-55-initiative-to-improve-tn-higher-ed-numbers/  Jobskeep coming,but companiesstruggleto find qualifiedworkers(TN/Williams) The jobs are coming; the jobs are here. Gov. Bill Haslam has been trekking across Middle Tennessee making onenew jobs announcement after another during the past few weeks, and the numbers are mounting, into thethousands. “In just the past six or seven weeks, we’ve had three companies announce expansions that will bring atleast 1,000 jobs each,” Haslam said this week during one of those events at auto supplier Calsonic Kansei NorthAmerica in Shelbyville. They include 1,000 jobs for Aramark and 1,000 for UBS in Nashville; and 1,200 forCalsonic, in three locations — Shelbyville, Lewisburg and Smyrna. And there have been others that have pushedthe total to well over 6,000 jobs announced in the past two months. But there’s a downside, workforce experts say:finding enough qualified applicants to fill those positions in a timely fashion, even though unemployment has beenrising this summer in the Nashville area. “Last month, we had 60,000 people still looking for work in MiddleTennessee, and that has been going up over the past nine months,” said David Penn, director of the BusinessandEconomic Research Center at the Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University.http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130905/BUSINESS01/309050046/Jobs-keep-coming-TN-companies-struggle-find-qualified-workers(SUBSRIPTION) HaslamNamesSmithto TN Boardof Regents(TN Report) Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed J. Parker Smith to the Tennessee Board of Regents as therepresentative of the First Congressional District. “I am grateful to Parker for serving our state in this importantway,” Haslam said. “His experience and commitment will be valuable on the board.” Smith, 60, is vice presidentand general manager of Worldwide Manufacturing Support and Global Quality for Eastman Chemical Company.He has spent his entire career with Eastman, which he began as a co-op student while at North Carolina StateUniversity. He has served as superintendent of the Centralized Maintenance Division in Kingsport and the leader ofthe Eastman Chemical Worldwide Maintenance and Reliability Team.http://tnreport.com/2013/09/04/haslam-names-smith-to-tn-board-of-regents/  HaslamappointsJ. ParkerSmithto Regentsboard(AssociatedPress) Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed J. Parker Smith to the Tennessee Board of Regents. Smith will represent the 1stCongressional District. The 60-year-old is vice president and general manager of Worldwide ManufacturingSupport and Global Quality for Eastman Chemical Co. Haslam says he believes Parker's experience andcommitment will benefit the board, which oversees six state universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges ofapplied technology.http://www.wbbjtv.com/news/regional/Haslam-appoints-J-Parker-Smith-to-Regents-board-222437681.html 3  ARCto add 115 new jobs (ChattanoogaTimesFree-Press) ARC Automotive, Inc. will expand its Knoxville plant and add 115 jobs to meet its growing domestic and globalsales. The manufacturer of inflator products for airbag applications is spending $3 million to enlarge its 21-year-oldcomplex.The Knoxville-based company, which has offices in Japan and Korea and manufacturing facilities in Chinaand Mexico, is bringing more of its production to the U.S. Fast-growing, forward-thinking companies like ARCAutomotive not only see the benefits of doing business in Tennessee, but also focus their efforts to return highquality manufacturing jobs from overseas markets, said Bill Hagerty, Tennessee's commissioner for economic andcommunity development.   http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/sep/05/auto-supplier-to-add-115-jobs-in-knoxville/?businesstnvalley (REGISTRATION) ARCAutomotiveto add 115 jobs (Knoxville News-Sentinel/Marcum) Auto parts manufacturer ARC Automotive Inc. announced Wednesday that it plans a $3 million expansion of itsKnoxville operation, adding 115 new jobs. The Knoxville-based company said it has seen growing demand in thedomestic and international automobile markets and is expanding to meet that need. Besides Knoxville, thecompany has facilities in Japan, Korea, China and Mexico. “ARC chose Knoxville for the expansion due in largepart to its familiarity with the area labor market and continued dedication and hard work of its employees,” ARCVice President of Human Resources Gabe Bucca said in a statement. The Knoxville plant, located at 1611 ThirdCreek Road, is expected to fill most of the 115 positions within the first year of expansion. The plant specializes inresearch, engineering, prototype development and production. ARC, which has been in Knoxville more than 20years, makes inflator products for air bag equipment, including driver, passenger, side and curtain inflaters.Expanding the regional automotive sector is a focus of the Innovation Valley initiative, said Rhonda Rice, executivevice president of the Knoxville Chamber. “And ARC’s expansion validates our workforce, location and businessclimate,” she said.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/sep/04/arc-automotive-to-add-115-jobs/ (SUB) ARCto expandin Knoxville, add more than 100 jobs (WATE-TV Knoxville) ARC Automotive, a global manufacturer of airbag inflator products, will soon add two new production lines at it'sThird Creek facility. The three-million-dollar investment will create 115 new jobs at the facility. ARC has beenheadquartered in Knoxville since 1992. The expansion increases the number of employees by 50 percent. Oncewe get them here, we keep 'em, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said. It's exactly what we're seeing, they arefinding out what a great area this is to do business in. This is the company's largest job expansion since therecession in 2008. Several other automotive supply companies have expressed interest in relocating to Knoxville.Doug Lawyer oversees economic development for the Knoxville Chamber. He says the auto industry is growinglocally. It's automotive component sectors of companies that we're trying to recruit here to this region, Lawyersaidhttp://www.wate.com/story/23343260/arc-to-expand-in-knoxville-add-more-than-100-jobs Steppingforward:MountainGoat Trail gets $200,000grant go-ahead(TFP/Benton) The Mountain Goat Trail project on Monteagle Mountain just got two kicks in the pants for the next and futuresegments of trail work in the areas of Monteagle, Palmer and Tracy City. The first boost for the Mountain Goat Trailproject -- which consists of plans for a smooth, walkable trail from Cowan, Tenn., in Franklin County to Palmer,Tenn., in Grundy County -- came in August in the form of a $200,000 Recreational Trails Program grant, accordingto Mountain Goat Trail Alliance board President Janice Thomas and staff grant writer Patrick Dean. The second bitof good news came from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, which approved the start of work on thetrail segment between Sewanee and Monteagle, Dean and Thomas said. The first-phase piece of the trail inSewanee is complete almost to the Franklin-Grundy county line. The Mountain Goat Trail is a rail-to-trail project toconvert 35 to 40 miles of the abandoned Mountain Goat Railroad right of way into a multiuse recreational corridorbetween Grundy and Franklin counties. The $200,000 grant will fund about two miles of trail work that could bestarted inside the city limits of Tracy City and Palmer, or possibly another section somewhere between, Dean andThomas said. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/sep/05/stepping-forward/?local(REGISTRATION) Wait timesstill long in Tennesseedriver servicecenters(AssociatedPress) Although state officials have made improvements in how driver service centers operate, motorists still have longwait times for service. The Tennessean reports attempts to cut wait times over the last two years have beenhampered by computer issues and an increase in handgun permit applications. Gov. Bill Haslam promised twoyears ago to work on cutting the wait for customers at the centers. At one center in July, people waited an averageof 40 minutes before getting service. At another center in Nashville, people were given estimated wait times of 4
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