Creating Opportunities for a Better Education
For Randy, increasing educational opportunities for every Tennessean is key to fostering a strong and thriving economy in the state.
For Tennessee to compete for the jobs of tomorrow, we must have a qualified workforce. As a private citizen, Governor Haslam’s special advisor on education and the state’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, Randy has worked tirelessly to increase opportunities for students to gain the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century economy.
For businesses considering bringing jobs to the state, one of the most attractive aspects of Tennessee is our commitment to post-secondary education and training. Randy’s work creating the Drive to 55, a state-wide initiative with the goal of equipping 55% of adult Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate by 2025, means more, better jobs in Tennessee.
Randy and Jenny have generously supported the University-Assisted Community Schools of Knoxville at Pond Gap Elementary. Working with local non-profits, healthcare providers and the university community, Pond Gap Elementary has expanded its school day to provide wrap-around services for at-risk children.
Children now have a safe place to complete their homework after school and receive additional reading, math and physical education instruction and confidence building exercises. These children also receive the healthcare services they need and share a hot supper with their family.
The Boyds believe that the best return on investment is education, and for a student to have the opportunity to use his or her God-given talents in life, we need to make sure they can see the teacher’s writing on the board and can focus on the work at hand without a growling stomach.
Additionally, the Boyds are strong supporters of programs through Junior Achievement BizTown, a program which helps teach students workforce skills and practical business education from a young age. They also support a broad range of educational and leadership programs through programs provided by the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
knoxAchieves & tnAchieves: Supporting the Tennessee Promise
Randy was the principle donor and served as board chairman of knoxAchieves, a last-dollar scholarship program that gave each Knox County high school graduate the opportunity to attend a community college or technical school, regardless of the student’s financial situation.
knoxAchieves served as the template for tnAchieves, a scholarship program that today supports students in 85 of the state’s 95 counties by providing a volunteer mentor and assistance to students taking advantage of the Tennessee Promise.
Because of Randy’s leadership, Tennessee Promise gives every Tennessee high school graduate the opportunity to attend a community college or technical school tuition-free, giving hardworking students the opportunity to find a good job and graduate with no debt.
Aligning Education and Job Recruitment
Randy knows that if students graduate from our high schools with the wrong skills, we can’t ensure that they will find a good-paying job. As Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, Randy chaired the Governor’s Workforce Sub-Cabinet. In that role, he prioritized the alignment of education and industry — driving changes in higher education and technical training necessary to ensure our graduates are ready to thrive in today’s workforce.