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…]