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Business Monthly 3-16
Citizens for progress continues to aid Warren County
The Citizens for Progress Scholarship Fund began in July 2007 providing aid to graduating high school seniors to attend tuition-free for two years at either Motlow or TCAT at McMinnville.

The Citizens for Progress Scholarship Fund began in July 2007 providing aid to graduating high school seniors to attend tuition-free for two years at either Motlow or TCAT at McMinnville.  
Warren County was the second county in Tennessee to offer a local scholarship program. Since that time, we have fundraised well over $500,000, awarded about $400,000 to over 400 students, many of which were first in their families to pursue higher education. This program has been a true difference maker. 
The Business Roundtable Action Committee (BRAC) was one of the original catalysts to launch the scholarship program and has led fundraising ever since. BRAC’s No. 1 priority is to raise the education level of our county over time. CFP undoubtedly has helped and is continuing to do so.
Through Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative, TN Promise was launched at the start of the current academic year.
TN Promise now covers a large part of what CFP addressed. We are phasing CFP this spring semester off from the last-dollar tuition coverage at Motlow and TCAT for two-year program studies. In its place are two equally large commitments. 
First CFP is providing scholarship aid to high school juniors and seniors to take dual enrollment courses/classes at both TCAT and Motlow-McMinnville. Such classes are being expanded for students. This is a rapidly growing area TN Promise does not address. Students take these college classes while in high school at a reduced to no cost and then achieve full college credit once at college. This saves valued time and money, especially if student loans are involved later.
The Tennessee university system accepts all credits from Motlow as a direct incentive. For all the right reasons, we expect dual enrollment to continue to grow and require increasing aid from CFP.
The second area of applied CFP scholarship aid is being aimed at our existing workforce to be enticed to come back to Motlow-McMinnville or WCHS for evening Mechatronics advanced skills training. The CFP Fund will pay $500 per class/per semester to any existing worker that enrolls. That is close to the total tuition cost. The only requirement is the student must be a Warren County resident and/ or an employee of a Warren County company for at least one year. 
The student can access both Level One (certificate) and/or Level Two (associate’s degree) classes/programs or both.  They can be done consecutively. A student can do both with the same level of near complete aid. This initiative will include advanced robotics training, once that comes to our county (next year or two).  Our ambition is to create a labor pool with advanced training skills that can be promoted by their existing employers. 
Industry demands higher skills. Doing this will take time away from family and recreation, but future job advances should be ample incentive. Workers must be at least 21 but can be at any stage of their career path or age.  Mechatronics is a tremendous program. Anyone interested can easily arrange a tour at Motlow-McMinnville any morning from 9 to 11 a.m. Just call Motlow locally. 
BRAC has purposefully set this program to be hugely attractive to existing workers. This is aimed at existing workers who want to get ahead and are willing to “pay a price” to get there.
The key fund raiser is our 9th annual CFP Charity Concert which this year will be on Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at the beautiful Park Theatre in downtown McMinnville. The WCHS Choir will sing the national anthem and first two songs.  Our highlighted entertainment group, the “Ultimate Oldies” will do their first “Legends” show featuring Kings of Rock-N-Roll from the ’50s and ’60s.
Ultimate Oldies is a 28-person strong performance troop with singers, dancers, musicians, and even comic skit folks.  Tickets are $15 each which goes 100 percent to the CFP treasury since we have sponsors who cover the event cost.  Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce downtown and will be sold April 16 at the Park.
Last year we had four title sponsors for the concert – Bridgestone-Warren, Yorozu Automotive, Miniature Precision Components, and Ben Lomand Connect. Bridgestone, Yorozu, and MPC are confirmed again as title sponsors for the 2016 concert. There are several other area firms that contribute to this 501(c)3 charity. Last year we fund raised over $69,000, our best effort. The prior school year, our aid extended was almost $72,000, so our treasury stayed about even.  We are focused on continuing this fund raising, so the scholarship aid can carry higher education into the future.
Serving on the planning committee for the CFP Charity Concert are:

Steve Stanger - Multi-Source
Rodney Boyd - McMinnville Electric
Shannon Gulick - Bridgestone-Warren
Melody Edmonds - Motlow-McMinnville
Bobby Cox - Warren County Schools
Jimmy Walker - WCHS
T.R. Herzog - Accu-Router
Leeann Cordell and Dave Wideman - Edward Jones
Sigourney Young-love - Chamber of Commerce
Norma Clark - Chamber of Commerce
Todd Herzog - BRAC Chair

Last year, the committee planned and did the April concert as well as a successful Christmas show at the Park. This committee meets all year with this planning. Many thanks to all who serve.
How can you help? Please come to the April 16 concert. Buy a ticket to help support our scholarship fund, and be entertained beyond expectations.
Ultimate Oldies does a great job of bringing yesteryear vividly back for all your senses to enjoy. This will be two hours plus of pure relaxation and fun.  lease make an effort to come join us. Thank you for your consideration.