Education: A path out of poverty

Chris Whaley

Chris Whaley

“Education: A Path out of Poverty,” will be the theme of an interfaith luncheon at First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge at noon on June 5. Chris Whaley, president of Roane State Community College, will be the guest speaker.

The cost of the noon luncheon is $5, payable at the door. The luncheon is open to the public.

Admission to the talk is free. To make a reservation, call the church office at (865) 482-1318 or send an email to [email protected].

In the international development community, it is well-known that education is one of the most effective ways to improve the economic growth and potential of a country, a press release said. UNESCO reports that an additional year of schooling will raise income by 10 percent. [Read more…]

Roane State participating in prestigious Achieving the Dream National Reform Network

Chris Whaley

Chris Whaley

Roane State Community College is now a part of the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, becoming one of the first community colleges in Tennessee selected for this nationwide network working to improve student success.

The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network includes more than 200 community colleges. The network is led by Achieving the Dream Inc., a national nonprofit considered one of the most comprehensive, non-governmental education reform organizations in the country.

“We are honored to participate in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network,” Roane State President Chris Whaley said. “Through our participation in the network, we will learn evidence-based best practices from other colleges and from the network’s team of experts. Participation in Achieving the Dream gives us an opportunity to learn from the best, and to bring those ideas to Roane State to help our students succeed.” [Read more…]

UT: Expertise in materials science, additive manufacturing helps draw CVMR to Tenn.

Michael Hargett and Kamran Khoza of CVMR USA

CVMR President Michael Hargett, left, and Kamran Khozan, chairman and chief executive officer, joined local, state, and federal officials on Friday, March 13, to announce they’re moving company headquarters from Toronto to Oak Ridge, investing $313 million and adding 620 jobs.

 

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced last week that CVMR Corporation is relocating its global headquarters to Oak Ridge from Toronto, Canada. CVMR provides materials for additive manufacturing and announced it will create 620 jobs.

During recruitment of CVMR, University of Tennessee officials assisted the state and hosted the company at UT Knoxville to visit with engineering and chemistry faculty and learn about graduate programs, such as the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, as well as internships and co-ops for students, a press release said. UT System officials provided information about technology transfer, the UT Research Foundation, and Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus. CVMR also learned more about the University’s role in leading the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI, a $259 million partnership announced by President Barack Obama in January. [Read more…]

Metal powder manufacturing company investing $313 million in Oak Ridge, adding 620 jobs

Michael Hargett and Kamran Khoza of CVMR USA

CVMR President Michael Hargett, left, and Kamran Khozan, chairman and chief executive officer, joined local, state, and federal officials on Friday to announce they’re moving company headquarters from Toronto to Oak Ridge, investing $313 million and adding 620 jobs.

 

Note: This story was last updated at 12 a.m.

A company that manufactures high-purity metal powders and super alloys is moving its operations to Oak Ridge from Toronto, Canada, and investing $313 million here and creating 620 jobs, officials said Friday.

CVMR, which has operations in 18 countries, will use the former Theragenics building at Horizon Center in west Oak Ridge for its headquarters and research and development. The company closed on that building, which is on 21 acres, on Friday, but executives declined to disclose the sale price.

The first employee was hired Thursday, said Kamran Khozan, chairman and chief executive officer of CVMR (USA) Incorporated.

The company could expand that 65,000-square-foot building; infrastructure that is already in place allows it to be doubled. The company could put 218 people to work right away in its new headquarters and add 402 high-paying manufacturing jobs later, a state official said.

“I can promise you that this is the start of a wave,” said Randy Boyd, the new commissioner of Tennessee Economic and Community Development. [Read more…]

Gov. Haslam, state to make ‘significant’ economic announcement in OR Friday

Bill Haslam during Presidential Visit at Pellissippi State

Governor Bill Haslam is pictured above during a visit by President Barack Obama at Pellissippi State Community College on Friday, January 9. (File photo by Rob Welton)

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and the state will make a significant economic development announcement in Oak Ridge on Friday afternoon, officials said.

The announcement—which will also include other federal, state, and local officials—is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, March 13, at the former Theragenics Building at Horizon Center.

Details of the announcement have not been released. [Read more…]

Whittler, woodworker Bill Henry earns prestigious arts award

Bill Henry

Bill Henry

Oak Ridge resident, whittler, and woodworker Bill Henry was one of 10 people to earn a Governor’s Arts Award for representing the best in arts and culture in Tennessee in 2015.

Henry won a Folklife Heritage Award. He will receive the award, considered Tennessee’s highest honor in the arts, from Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam on March 17.

Distinguished artists honored include Mary Costa, Dr. Bobby Jones, B.B. King, Loretta Lynn, and Cormac McCarthy, a press release said.

“We want to congratulate the recipients for their incredible work adding to the rich cultural heritage of Tennessee,” Governor Haslam said. “Their dedication, leadership, and contributions to the arts have enhanced our way of life and will continue to influence Tennesseans for many years to come.”

The 2015 recipients are: [Read more…]

Haslam makes case for Insure Tennessee

Bill Haslam during Presidential Visit at Pellissippi State

Governor Bill Haslam is pictured above during a visit by President Barack Obama at Pellissippi State Community College on Friday, January 9. (Photo by Rob Welton)

 

Governor says his plan provides health care coverage to more Tennesseans at no cost to the state

NASHVILLE—Tennessee Govenor Bill Haslam on Monday evening addressed a joint convention of the 109th General Assembly as legislators began an extraordinary legislative session to consider his Insure Tennessee plan.

The proposal, a two-year pilot program to provide market-based health care coverage to more than 250,000 Tennesseans who currently don’t have access to health insurance or have limited options, does not create any new taxes for Tennesseans and will not add any state cost to the budget, the governor’s office said.

“Two years ago, the General Assembly made two requests of us,” Haslam said in a press release. “First, to bring a unique and specific plan to Tennessee that met the needs of our citizens and was financially responsible for our state and the country, and secondly, to bring that plan back to the General Assembly for a vote.

“I have done both of those things. This plan is overwhelmingly supported by Republicans and Democrats in our state. Tonight, I am asking for your vote to help Insure Tennessee.” [Read more…]

Two ORHS students among 100 in state to earn perfect score on TCAP writing test

Abigail Greenhalgh, David Bryant, and Sarah Dowling

From left are Abigail Greenhalgh, David Bryant, and Sarah Dowling. (Submitted photo)

Two Oak Ridge High School students were among only 100 students in the state of Tennessee to earn a perfect score on the 2014 TCAP Writing Assessment, a press release said.

Abigail Greenhalgh and Sarah Dowling each received a perfect score on all categories of the assessment, which was given statewide last February. The students each received a certificate signed by Governor Bill Haslam and the commissioner of education.

“This is a fine example of how well our teachers are preparing our students to be proficient writers, not only at the high school, but at the elementary and middle schools as well,” Oak Ridge High School David Bryant said.

Haslam announces winners of LEAP competition, including Roane State

Governor Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

Submitted

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in December announced the recipients of the Labor Education Alignment Program, or LEAP, competition, a state effort focused on increasing opportunities for Tennesseans to obtain a certificate or degree beyond high school that is aligned with the needs of the workforce in their communities.

“These types of intentional partnerships between local agencies and their colleges or TCATS are what we want to see across the state as a significant piece of the Drive to 55 initiative,” Haslam said. “Tying the training and skills that our colleges are teaching directly to current workforce needs will help more Tennesseans qualify for good paying, high quality jobs.”

The communities and colleges selected as LEAP recipients exemplify the collaboration and alignment between workforce needs and higher education that are at the core of the Drive to 55,” Haslam said. [Read more…]

U.S., Tennessee, community college officials react to president’s education proposal

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, and U.S. representatives Chuck Fleischmann and John J. Duncan Jr., all Republicans, released statements or commented on the East Tennessee visit by President Barack Obama, a Democrat, on Friday and his proposal to make the first two years of community college free to responsible students. Pellissippi State Community College President Anthony Wise and Roane State Community College President Chris Whaley also released statements or commented on the visit and education proposal.

The president’s proposal, America’s College Promise, will be proposed in his State of the Union on January 20, and it is modeled after the Tennessee Promise.

Here’s what the officials from Tennessee said:

Bill Haslam during Presidential Visit at Pellissippi State

Governor Bill Haslam was among the Tennessee leaders who received praise from the president during Obama’s 5.5-hour visit to East Tennessee on Friday. (Photo by Rob Welton)

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam

The president recognizes that good things are happening in Tennessee. We are proud of the Tennessee Promise. It is changing the culture of expectations in Tennessee by encouraging more students to pursue a certificate or degree beyond high school. The Tennessee Promise is focused not just on access but success in terms of making certain that students actually attain their degree. We think having a mentor available for the students is an important part of achieving that success.

Regarding the specifics of the president’s plan, we look forward to seeing more details in the coming days about the cost of the program and how it will be covered. [Read more…]

Obama’s visit: Education, manufacturing, a chance to see the president

President Barack Obama at Pellissippi State Community College

President Barack Obama announces a proposal to offer two years of free community college to responsible students during a half-hour speech at Pellissippi State Community College in Hardin Valley on Friday. (Photo by Rob Welton)

 

Note: This story was last updated at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 15.

HARDIN VALLEY—It was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for some, a chance to shake hands with the president of the United States of America or wave at his heavily guarded motorcade as it passed by on a local roadway.

For others, it was a chance to hear about a presidential proposal modeled after a Tennessee program that would make the first two years of community college free to students who maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average. That proposal, officially announced at Pellissippi State Community College in Hardin Valley on Friday, expands on the 20th century idea that all children in the United States are entitled to a public education. In the 21st century economy, the White House said, 12 years of school is no longer enough.

For a much-smaller group, Friday’s visit by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife Jill Biden offered an opportunity to hear an in-person announcement of a new advanced manufacturing hub, the country’s fifth, that will be led by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and have Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a founding partner. That announcement at Techmer PM in Clinton was highlighted by a 3-D printed carbon fiber replica of a Shelby Cobra that the president joked about receiving for his birthday. [Read more…]

Pellissippi State transcript: Obama proposes free community college for two years

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON AMERICA’S COLLEGE PROMISE

This is a transcript of remarks made by President Barack Obama at Pellissippi State Community College in Hardin Valley in west Knox County on Friday, January 9. The president was at Pellissippi State to announce a proposal that would make community college free for two years to responsible students across the country. The proposal is modeled on the relatively new Tennessee Promise.

Friday’s visit was the first by a president to Pellissippi State.

Pellissippi State Community College

Knoxville, Tennessee

2:05 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Hey!  Thank you!  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.  Everybody, please have a seat.  Please have a seat.  Well, it is good to be back in Tennessee.  I hope you guys aren’t getting tired of me.  I’ve been coming around a lot lately, because there’s a lot of good stuff happening here.

I want to begin by thanking Joe and Jill Biden.  They’re not just good friends and good partners, but they really believe in the power of education and they really believe in creating those kinds of ladders of opportunity that gave all three of us and Michelle the chances, the incredible opportunities that we’ve had today.  And they understand the promise of America’s community colleges.  Well, Jill really understands it, and Joe — (laughter) — he doesn’t really have a choice.

Before I get into the reason that I’m here today, I want to begin by saying just a few words about the tragic events that we’ve watched unfold in France over the last several hours and days.  And because events have been fast-moving this morning, I wanted to make sure to comment on them. [Read more…]