Dickson County Benefits from GIVE 2.0 Grant

Career Pathways to High-Demand and -Wage Healthcare Fields Expanding for Dickson County and Creek Wood High School Students

December 7, 2021

With an investment of $710,023 from the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) grant, current and future Dickson County and Creek Wood High Schools students will be able to earn healthcare industry credentials including Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and Certified Patient Care Technician beginning the high schools Fall 2022 term.

Additional education and training will be available for students pursuing pre-nursing, surgical technology, and central sterile processing careers. The allied health programs will include work-based learning components and partnerships with local employers. Upon graduation, anyone, whether in these programs or not, can continue their schooling at TCAT-Dickson or Nashville State Community College.

Nashville State and the Dickson County Economic Development Alliance submitted the detailed grant application in partnership with Dickson County Schools, Dickson County EMS, Dickson Medical Associates, NHC Healthcare, TriStar Horizon Medical Center, TCAT-Dickson, and the Greater Nashville Regional Council.

"This grant provides critical resources to expand access to existing and emerging high-demand healthcare careers," said Nashville State President Dr. Shanna L. Jackson. “The success in getting this initiative funded shows that we can do great things when we partner together and invest in each other.”

Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial said the focus on healthcare is part of a larger workforce development strategy.

“In recent years Dickson County has placed a great emphasis on growing our advanced manufacturing training opportunities. With our abundance of health care entities across Dickson County, we made the decision to pursue new training opportunities in the health care services sector,” said Rial. “We are sincerely grateful to be awarded this grant and look forward to growing our health care workforce in the Dickson area for years to come.”

With Nashville State being the top college selected by graduates in Dickson County, the college and school system collaborative will build on an existing relationship and give students interested in pursuing health services careers more efficient training and career paths. Nashville State has an excellent record of preparing students for careers in healthcare.

Creating a direct pathway and pipeline between the school system, local postsecondary institutions, and industry employers is key.

“We are honored to have access to this funding and what it will provide. It will certainly make a difference in the quality of programming that we will be able to provide to our students and the multitude of pathways it creates,” said Dickson County Director of Schools Dr. Danny L. Weeks.

Allied health professions are a high-demand career field in Northern Middle Tennessee, and the median income for many of the occupations—including those supported by the Collaborative—exceeds the median income for individuals in Dickson County.

Grant funding will provide for hiring additional instructors, which allows for greater enrollment, necessary equipment purchases such as EMS simulators to hospital beds, dual enrollment opportunity for Anatomy & Physiology, and a greater variety of credentials available for students.

Dickson County Schools Career and Technical Education Coordinator Ray D. Lecomte addressed the importance of this collaborative.

“This will reinvent our Health Science programs of study in the county,” said Lecomte. “This funding will allow our students to work with hospital-level equipment and high-tech instructors to better prepare them for post-secondary training and the workforce. Our partnership with Nashville State Community College is key to the success of our programs and we look forward to a long relationship with them. We are very excited about the future of these programs and the opportunities they will provide for our students.”

Increasing postsecondary enrollment and completion in the county was also a motivating factor in seeking this grant and forming this collaborative.

The goals are in alignment with the Governor’s Drive to 55 initiative, where an ambitious goal was set of having 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025. At present, 24.2 percent of Dickson County residents have an associate degree or higher. This type of partnership is essential to increasing local postsecondary attainment.