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Tennessee distributes $3M to disressed, at risk counties

The state of Tennessee will use millions of dollars in grant money to help 38 distressed and at-risk counties across Tennessee bolster workforce development efforts. The funding was approved by the Tennessee Workforce Development Board and aligns with Governor Bill Lee’s rural initiatives.

The Rural Initiative Funding Opportunity Announcement (RIFOA) has made $3 million in funding available to local workforce development boards to support workforce expansion efforts in the targeted counties.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) accepted grant applications from the counties and determined the amount of funding each recipient would receive. The state’s 15 distressed counties will split $2.1 million of the $3 million in grant money, with the remaining $900,000 divided among 23 counties deemed at-risk by the state.

“In alignment with the Governor Lee’s priorities for Tennessee, we are excited to be able to make these funds available,” said TDLWD Commissioner Jeff McCord. “These grant dollars will foster the opportunity to develop and maintain a qualified workforce in the places where it is needed most.”

Each county will receive funding for specific programs local leaders feel can help address crucial workforce development needs in their areas. In our area, Grundy County is identified as a distressed county and will receive $163,658, which is actually the second highest amount awarded of the 15 distressed counties. Warren County is identified as at risk, and received $38,911 for a rural graduation initiative.