Sen. Yager secures $25 million for joint higher education facility in Fentress County

Contact:  Zachary Clark (615) 741-2255 or email: zachary.clark@capitol.tn.gov

(NASHVILLE, TN), April 25, 2022 — Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) announces the Tennessee General Assembly has approved $25 million for a new joint facility for Roane State Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Oneida/Huntsville in Fentress County. The funding is included in the FY23 budget, adopted by the legislature last week.

The appropriation will be used to build a permanent, 26,000-square-foot facility complete with Zoom-enabled classrooms, a science lab and trade/technology programs.

“This significant appropriation is fantastic news for Fentress County and the region. Funding a permanent facility for Roane State Community College has been a top priority of mine since 2019 and I’m thrilled that goal is now coming to fruition,” said Sen. Yager. “The new facility will provide much needed associates degrees, Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified Nursing Assistant certificates, as well as Automotive and Welding Technology certificates. It will allow our young adults to acquire the skills they need to land well-paying jobs. I want to thank Rep. Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown), Rep. John Mark Windle (I-Livingston), County Executive Jimmy Johnson and the County Commission for their strong support.”

For 20 years, RSCC has served students in Fentress County, but has never had a permanent home. Currently, it is using a leased 8,000-square-foot storefront and also offers classes in local schools. The new facility will enable the college to offer expanded programs in Fentress County.

“I’m very appreciative of what Sen. Yager has done for the people of Fentress County in getting this joint higher education facility. He along with Rep. Windle and Rep. Keisling have done another excellent job,” said Johnson.” The county has been waiting for this facility for several years and we can’t say enough about what this means to Fentress County for adult education and also for our kids to stay here in the county and get their education here rather than travel outside the county like they have done past several years.”

In a multi-year effort to secure these funds, Senator Yager has met with many state officials and wrote to Governor Lee in October of 2021 requesting the funds. 

RSCC President Chris Whaley said:

“We are continuously looking for ways to better serve the people and needs of Fentress County, so we couldn’t be happier to see this joint project move forward. We are tremendously grateful to all of our partners in this effort, including Sen. Yager and our friends at TCAT Oneida/Huntsville. Working together allows us to succeed in our mission of transforming lives through higher education.”

Local leaders are optimistic about the future economy of Fentress County that these new educational opportunities will offer.

TCAT Oneida/Huntsville President Dwight Murphy said:

“The Tennessee College of Applied Technology Oneida/Huntsville is excited to partner with Roane State Community College in a new higher education facility in Fentress County. This will allow TCAT Oneida/ Huntsville to offer technical education in the Allied Health Fields, Automotive Fields, and Manufacturing Fields. We want to thank Governor Bill Lee, Senator Ken Yager, Representative John Mark Windle, Representative Kelly Keisling, and County Executive Jimmy Johnson for their leadership. This facility will expand and enhance educational opportunities to Fentress Countians.”

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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