Adults to see full benefits of Tennessee Reconnect soon

Published 5:25 pm Monday, January 1, 2018

Adults looking to garner postsecondary education will soon receive full benefits on the state’s “Drive to 55.”
Outgoing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s initiative to bolster the state’s workforce with educational opportunities will officially go into effect this year at technical schools and community colleges for adults either seeking their associate’s degree or specific certifications.
Residents across the state will be eligible for tuition-free schooling at their respective institute of choice, during the fall semester, thanks in part to Tennessee Reconnect – one cog of Gov. Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative to have 55 percent of Tennesseans to be equipped with a college degree or postsecondary certification by 2025.
The state is encouraging residents to get involved, if possible, and tools for assistance are available locally.
Northeast Tennessee Reconnect Communities officially launched in 2016 and is supported through the Governor’s Office. Representatives offer free, comprehensive college success advisory services, including help with career exploration, assistance with financial aid programs and more to any individual that is one year removed from high school.
Carter County is home to one of the communities, which is worked through the Alliance for Business & Training (AB&T) and operates out of the Workforce Development Complex adjacent to the Northeast State Community College – Elizabethton campus.
Representatives from the office told the Elizabethton Star, following the announcement of Tennessee Reconnect, that roughly 6,100 adults in the county haven’t completed their education at a college, university or technical school.
Since that time, over 500 individuals from Carter, along with Johnson and Washington counties — which are serviced through the community, have utilized the resources available.
Interested participants are encouraged to visit website and click the “Get Started” button, which will send users to the Northeast Tennessee Reconnect intake form — which is free to fill out. Following completion of the form, an advisor will have the applicant to begin the process of helping the individual attend school.
For more information, email local Program Coordinator Carol Patton at or call (423) 547-7515 ext. 132.

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