College Funding Program Receives $200,000 Boost from Tennessee Department of Labor and Southwest Tennessee Resource Agency

Friday, October 29, 2010 | 12:25 pm
Susan Cowden presents an award for $200,000 to implement Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) in rural West Tennessee.
Susan Cowden presents an award for $200,000 to implement Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) in rural West Tennessee.
12 Counties Join in REDI Program to Increase the Number of College Graduates
 
NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Southwest Tennessee Development District today announced available funding for the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI), a 12-county collaboration in West Tennessee. The REDI College Access program provides mentors to help high school seniors and non-traditional students prepare for the college application and financial aid process.
 
“Outreach programs like REDI are planting the seeds of Tennessee’s economic growth,” says Labor Commissioner James Neeley. “Any encouragement and resources we can provide for college hopefuls is a step in the right direction when meeting future employer needs.”
 
The two REDI College Access Coordinators and community volunteers work with students in the 22 REDI high schools to advise students on the college application process with the goal of increasing the number of students entering into some type of postsecondary education. 1,200 students and 440 volunteer mentors are currently participating in the program. The funding provided in this announcement will provide additional staff and funding for the program though 2011. Counties participating in the REDI program include the following: Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Lauderdale, McNairy and Tipton counties.
 
“Many high school graduates have the foundation for success, but still need further training to realize their career goals. We can’t let the current economy discourage these high school graduates from taking advantage of higher education,” said REDI Director Lisa Hankins.
The Southwest Tennessee Development District received the “2010 Innovation Award” from the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation for its Regional Economic Development Initiative. REDI is the only program in Tennessee to have received this distinction.
 
Visit Southwest Tennessee Development District’s website at www.swtdd.org/ or call 731.668.7112 for more information on REDI.
 
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