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TBR Leads Business Community in NSFY Career Readiness Effort

Representing the Roundtable and Tennessee’s employers, TBR Director of Policy & Research Cassie Foote and other members of Tennessee’s New Skills for Youth (NSFY) grant team huddled last month with counterparts from nine other states to help make the most of each state’s new $2 million career readiness grant.

Meeting in Louisville, Ky. on March 7-8, Tennessee’s team (see below) joined others from LA, KY, OH, NV, MA, WI, DE, RI, and OK in working together to set long- and short-term goals, and in diving into implementation planning for Year One of each state’s grant action plan.

“The New Skills for Youth initiative focuses on high-quality education-to-career pathways, work-based learning, and incentivizing students to earn post-secondary or industry credentials in high demand fields,” explains Cassie. “That focus aligns very strongly with Roundtable members’ priorities, and that is why we’re pleased to represent Tennessee’s business community on this grant team.”

Last October, Tennessee and the nine other states were selected from a field of 25 state applicants to receive $2 million dollar grants to conduct “Phase II” advanced work. The grants, awarded following a competitive application process by the nonprofit Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and funded through a donation by JP Morgan Chase, will help Tennessee and other Phase II state winners to develop and implement regional strategies to boost their K-12 students’ career readiness.

The Roundtable’s involvement has been vital to Tennessee’s winning efforts, as employer engagement– and grant applicant representation– are requirements for both NSFY grant Phases. Going forward, TBR will continue working with other Tennessee team members to complete our state’s implementation plan, and will also engage with a new ten-state NSFY affinity group comprised of employer representatives of Phase II award states.

The employer group will work to identify and define best practices and strategies in soft skills training and work-based learning. What’s your company doing in those areas? Contact Cassie at 615-255-5877 or to provide thinking that can inform TBR’s work with employer representatives in other states.


TN NSFY Grant Team

TN Department of Education

TN Department of Economic & Community Development

TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development


Tennessee Board of Regents

Tennessee Business Roundtable



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