Haslam gets big boost in "Drive to 55" education initiative

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Gov. Bill Haslam went to Chattanooga State Community College on Thursday to sign a new bill meant to help underprivileged Tennesseans attend the state's two-year institutions. It sets aside at least $35 million for need-based grants to the state's two-year colleges.

“For us to attract and grow Tennessee jobs today and in the future, we have to do a better job of building a skilled workforce, which means removing barriers that stand in the way of Tennesseans furthering their education,” Haslam said during the ceremonial bill signing.

The bill was a part of the governor's "Dirve to 55" initiative, which aims to increase the number of Tennesseans with at least a two-year college degree or certificate by 2025. Right now, just under a third of the state's residents meet that goal.

The endowment will be managed by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.

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