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After campaigning for more vocational education, Lee unveils his proposal for Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday announced his legislative initiative to expand access to vocational and technical training for Tennessee students.

Called GIVE for short, the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education would support regional partnerships among schools, industry, and technical colleges to develop work-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities for students. It also would provide funding for high school juniors and seniors to earn four credits from trade and technical programs through dual enrollment.

If approved by the legislature, the initiative would be paid for through the state lottery.

“I believe that expanding our vocational and technical offerings will be transformational for Tennesseans and the future of our state,” Lee said in a statement. “We have the opportunity to help students discover quality career paths and gain skills that are needed right now in the workforce by emphasizing career and technical education.”

Elevating vocational education was a central message in Lee’s campaign to win his first public office, and this program marks the first legislative initiative of his administration.

“With GIVE, there is now a framework in place to partner with the private sector in addressing gaps in our workforce,” said the Republican governor. “This initiative also puts students in charge of their future by preparing them for a good job right out of high school.”

This story will be updated.