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ECD Awards Economic Development Education Grant to UT Institute for Public Service

January 27, 2010

ECD/UT Three-Star Scholarship Program to Award $30,000 in Grants to Rural Elected Officials

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Matt Kisber, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today a grant to the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service (IPS) which will allow the organization to award $30,000 in Three-Star scholarships for city and county elected officials. The scholarships, overseen by the UT IPS and ECD, will be used for continued economic development education and 28 rural Tennessee counties and cities will be eligible to apply.

"This partnership between the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service and ECD allows us to reach out to a group that is traditionally underserved," ECD Commissioner Matt Kisber said. "It is imperative to further the education of our economic development professionals across the state. They will help create the higher-skilled, better-paying jobs of tomorrow."

"The UT Institute for Public Service is pleased to be the recipient of this grant from Economic and Community Development. This grant will allow us to provide training to officials from counties and municipalities that otherwise might not be able to fund it," said Mary Jinks, Ph.D., vice president of public service. "City and county government officials have taken advantage of valuable IPS training for a number of years and I'm glad ECD is partnering with us on this endeavor."

Grant recipients will receive the opportunity to participate in one or more of three training options provided by the UT IPS:

  • The Tennessee Basic Economic Development Course, which focuses on fundamental concepts, tools and best practices needed to be successful in today's economic development environment;
  • The County Officials Certificate Training Program and Municipal Elected Officials Academy, nationally recognized training programs that provide specialized technical, administrative and managerial training to county government and municipal elected officials; and
  • The Pioneer Academy, a joint city/county training program that educates attendees on economic development, planning and zoning, and retail economic development.

The Three-Star Scholarship Grants will accept applications from 28 rural Tennessee counties who have been determined to be undeserved in elected official training by the UT IPS Fiscal Year 2009 Training Data Report and by Economic Status of Tennessee as of July 1, 2009. These counties are:

  • Bedford
  • Benton
  • Bledsoe
  • Clay
  • Decatur
  • DeKalb
  • Fentress
  • Grainger
  • Grundy
  • Hancock
  • Houston
  • Humphreys
  • Jackson
  • Johnson
  • Lake
  • Lewis
  • Lincoln
  • Macon
  • McNairy
  • Meigs
  • Moore
  • Morgan
  • Perry
  • Pickett
  • Polk
  • Smith
  • Trousdale
  • Van Buren

For more information on applying for a Three-Star Scholarship Grant, please contact Beth Phillips, (865) 974-0268 or beth.phillips@tennessee.edu. All scholarships will be awarded no later than June 30, 2010.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development's mission is to create higher skilled, better paying jobs for all Tennesseans. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. To find out more, go to www.tnecd.gov.