Governor: New job training program coming to two Shelby County schools

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In this Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 file photo, Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Lee takes part in a walk-through for his inauguration in War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Gov. Bill Lee has signed legislation that would likely make Tennessee the first to fine voter registration groups for turning in too many incomplete signup forms. It drew an immediate federal lawsuit. Tennessee’s NAACP chapter and other voter registration groups sued after Lee signed the bill Thursday, May 2, 2019 backed by Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett. Groups submitting 100-plus incomplete registrations over a year could be fined. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee appeared at two events in Memphis Tuesday morning focused on addressing concerns about future jobs.

The governor started his day at the Peabody Hotel, speaking at Davos on the Delta, an agriculture, food and health conference that examines the "future of food system innovation."

During the summit, agricultural experts talked about the challenges facing the global food system and ways to address them.

The governor's next stop was at the Teaching and Learning Academy where he and other leaders will announce a new program at two Shelby County Schools called the Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) curriculum. It will allow local high school students to get hands-on training while earning certificates in the building trades that will help them qualify for real-world jobs.

Overall, the goal of the program is to help fill a shortage of 1,700 workers in the building industry.

"They are jobs that need to be filled and skills that need to be developed, particularly for the four out of 10 kids in our state who aren't going to collage but have skills college kids don't," Lee said.

At first the program will only be available at two Shelby County high schools. Down the road, leaders hope to expand the program statewide.

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