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Teknovation News and Notes
September 04, 2023 | Tom Ballard

News & Notes | Governor Lee makes a stop to see PSCC GIVE 2.0 grants in action

In other news, another piece of the puzzle to attract and retain the all-important young talent to Maryville is announced.

From Knoxville:

  • Tennessee Governor Bill Lee made a stop in Knoxville last week to check in on the success of a grant program that has provided nearly $2 million to Pellissippi State Community College to aid in further development of vocational and information technology education. The Governor announced in November that Pellissippi State would for the second year be the beneficiary of a “Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education” (GIVE 2.0) grant. One award in the amount of $786,284 was provided to help expand Pellissippi State’s advanced manufacturing program. A second award of $994,164 was provided to expand the reach of the information technology program from Knox County to Blount County.  During the visit, the Governor drove a lap in Pellissippi State Motorsports’ Formula SAE race car which gave Lee him a real-world demonstration of how that money is being spent. 
  • Just days after winning reelection for a second term as Knoxville’s Mayor, Indya Kincannon announced several key changes in her leadership team On Wednesday, she said that Chief Policy Officer and Deputy to the Mayor Erin Gill was leaving for a position at the Knoxville Utilities Board as Vice President of Sustainability and Government Relations. Mayor Kincannon also announced that Chief Operations Officer David Brace will transition to the role of Chief of Staff, and local construction executive Grant Rosenberg joins the team as Chief Operating Officer. The week ended with the announcement that Rebekah Jane Justice will serve as Chief of Urban Design and Development and Cheryl Ball will serve as Chief Policy Officer.
  • The “National Drive Electric Week” (NDEW) is fast approaching, and the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA) is already working hard to prepare for the annual “Knoxville Drive Electric Festival 2023.” The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT September 23 at the Hardin Valley campus of Pellissippi State. To register, click here.

From Maryville:

Another piece in the puzzle to make the downtown area more attractive for young professionals was announced last week, and one might say it is a whopper.

The historic and iconic Armory on Ellis Avenue, which was demolished by building owner Randy Massey and the Massey Group in 2021, is returning as a unique restaurant and entertainment destination called “The Armory.” It represents an investment of about $10 million and will create 120 to 150 new local jobs.

Bart and Marti Fricks of Knoxville, who recently purchased the Jaboni’s Pizzeria locations in Maryville and Knoxville, will own and operate The Armory restaurant/ bar/entertainment venue which is expected to open late Summer 2024. The Armory will feature a 4,500-square foot rooftop deck and a 1,000-square foot patio – plus six bowling lanes – making The Armory a breathtaking indoor and outdoor experience.

In April, we posted this article about efforts to recruit and retain young talent.

From Oak Ridge:

Eugene Cochran has been named Group Leader for Technology Commercialization at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A Senior Commercialization Manager for the past nine years, he succeeds Jennifer Caldwell who was named Director of Technology Transfer in June. Cochran brings more than three decades of experience in technology commercialization and new venture development to the role.

From Cookeville:

Applications for our Fall 2023 session of The Biz Foundry‘s “Startup Your Startup” bootcamp are now open. The four-week program begins October 16, meets twice a week for 90 minutes each session, and ends November 9. It is designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn their business ideas into reality. Cost is $149. To apply, click here.

From Washington, DC but with Statewide Implications:

Southeast Community Capital Corporation, which does business as Pathway Lending, was one of 32 organizations across the U.S. to receive funding under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2023 Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs (PRIME) grants initiative. The organization was awarded $250,000 which required a $125,000 match.

The PRIME program provides training, technical assistance, access to capital, and program development for disadvantaged microentrepreneurs and microenterprise development organizations. It was established as part of the “Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act of 1999.”

The only other nearby recipient was Mountain Biz Capital Inc. in Asheville which received $130,000 with a $65,000 match requirement.

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