Laura Ward

211 Commerce St #100, Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 743-3046

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Join the Network

A Conversation With Middle Tennessee

A Lumina Talent Hub

Serving an eight county region surrounding Nashville, the Middle Tennesee Reconnect joined the Network in 2015.

Why does this work matter? Why are you building a pathway locally for adults to come back and complete a degree?

Increasing educational attainment in Middle Tennessee will have an impact now and in future generations. There is a direct link to economic prosperity and the region’s ability to attract highly skilled jobs that pay a better wage when adults have a certificate or degree post-high school. Middle Tennessee Reconnect will create pathways that link adults who want to enter or re-enter college with resources to make their dream of earning a degree or certificate a reality. These resources include giving credit for prior learning and work experience, and providing advisement and assessment services that help adults find the certificate or degree programs that are right for them so they can complete their degree.

Who were your first champions?

Leadership from organizations in the counties of Middle Tennessee who are engaged in education, economic development, and career services. These include post-secondary education institutions, chambers of commerce, employers, and career centers, all of whom are providing support and resources to adults who enter or re-enter college.

What's your goal? What are you aiming for?

The goal of Middle Tennessee Reconnect is to reach more than 200,000 adults in the region who have some college but no degree, and give them the opportunity to return to school. This goal aligns with the Governor’s Drive to 55 initiative – to equip 55 percent of Tennesseans with a post-secondary certificate or degree by 2025.  To be the first in the region to accomplish this, almost 160,000 adults in Middle Tennessee will need to complete a degree. By accomplishing this, we will reduce unemployment, create a more agile workforce and increase economic prosperity across the region and the state.

Why is your community an awesome place?

The Nashville Region is home to more than 1.8 million people and 40,000 businesses, and it is economically and educationally diverse. More than 100,000 students attend the region’s 21 higher education institutions. Our competitive advantages have attracted new businesses, and the Nashville metropolitan area has been named to the Business Insider’s list of hottest American cities for 2016. There is still great capacity for growth in all of the counties served by Middle Tennessee Reconnect, and we know an educated workforce will bring higher skilled and higher paying jobs to the region.

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