THE FAYETTEVILLE-LINCOLN County Industrial Development Board (FLCIDB) continues to seek ways to bring positive changes to Lincoln County communities by partnering organizations and building connections.
The Tennessee Economic and Community Development’s (TNECD) ThreeStar program was awarded a $37,000 ThreeStar grant to purchase equipment to establish welding training at Tennessee College of Applied Technologies (TCAT) at Lincoln Central Academy. The grant will also obtain and install blueway and trail signage along the Elk River and Wells Hill Park.
The TNECD ThreeStar grant program is sponsored by the FLCIDB. ThreeStar is a strategic community development program designed to help communities prepare for a better future. The program now utilizes asset-based planning initiatives and a two-year time period to accomplish its goals, helping communities to construct goals to maximize their local assets to drive economic development.
“ThreeStar grants are a great way to make a long-lasting impact on our community and at no cost to the community,” Emmylou Porter, the administrative assistant at FLCIDB, said in an email. “We look forward to seeing the results of these projects which will be complete by the end of the year.”
Porter said some welding equipment and supplies were delivered during the first quarter of 2022, but some materials have been delayed because of supply chain issues. The projects for both the Elk River and Wells Hill Park continue to make progress and will be completed by the end of 2022.
According to the TNECD website, the mission of ThreeStar is to positively impact every Tennessean by promoting economic and community prosperity through collaboration, aiming to become a good model for transforming Tennessee communities. The website also states that “certification in the ThreeStar program is based on annual documentation of local activity, evaluation, and biennial participation in coordinated local stakeholder goal and activity planning.”
In 2019, the Lincoln County ThreeStar program received a $24,000 grant. The FLCIDB utilized the funds to purchase equipment for an Information Technology and Infrastructure Management (cybersecurity) program. The program is now a dual enrollment program offered by TCAT-Shelbyville at Lincoln Central Academy. Community stakeholders determined that this was a need, at an asset-based planning meeting.
In 2017, a $5,000 grant was awarded to the Lincoln County ThreeStar program, which used the grant to host a “Focus On Your Future Event” that served to train Lincoln County middle school students in developing soft skills.
Elaine Middleton, the executive director of FLCIDB, said the Governor and TNECD have been a blessing to Lincoln County.
“We are grateful to the governor and TNECD for providing grant funds through the ThreeStar program the past several years,” Middleton said. “We have utilized these funds to enhance workforce development and to strengthen the quality of life for Lincoln County. Being a certified ThreeStar community also provides eligibility to participate in other select TNECD rural and community development programs.” GN