Southeast Tennessee Works Receives National Grant from Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship


The Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), a multi-stakeholder initiative led by New America, has awarded 17 grants to regional youth apprenticeship partnerships across the country, including the Southeast Tennessee Works program. Totaling nearly $3 million, the grants support collaborative efforts among employers, educators, community partners and policy leaders to pilot and expand high-quality youth apprenticeship programs that put young people onto postsecondary pathways and into good jobs. 

In 2019, Chattanooga State, the Chattanooga Chamber and the Hamilton County Department of Education joined forces to create apprenticeship program Southeast Tennessee Works, giving way to initiatives like Skill Up, which provides six weeks of training in advanced manufacturing, customer service and information technology.

Southeast Tennessee Works received a $50,000 PAYA Development Grant to support early-stage program design and implementation. Over an 18-month grant period beginning this month, grantees will participate in a structured, cohort-based planning sprint to develop multi-year strategies for expanding and strengthening youth apprenticeship. 

The Development Cohort includes: 

  • Southeast Tennessee Works (Chattanooga, TN) 
  • Albuquerque Partners for Youth Apprenticeship (Albuquerque, NM) 
  • Ascend Indiana (Indianapolis, IN) 
  • Career Launch Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo, MI) 
  • LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network (Riverside County, CA) 
  • The Youth Apprenticeship of Western New York Partnership (Buffalo, NY)

About Southeast Tennessee Works 

SETWorks (Southeast Tennessee Works) is a cross-sector collaborative effort to develop and scale high-quality and equitable workforce strategies for Hamilton County. Designed to serve as a hub and intermediary for the workforce ecosystem, SETWorks ensures partners across the Chattanooga area workforce ecosystem are aligned behind a common workforce agenda, are sharing data and information, and working in a coordinated and collaborative fashion to implement key, high-impact strategies to improve workforce development outcomes. 

About Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA)

Created by New America in 2018, the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder initiative that expands economic opportunity by assisting innovative organizations around the country in developing robust youth apprenticeship programs that are scaled and replicated to serve students, employers and communities alike. Since launch, PAYA has supported the work of more than 50 place-based partnerships across the U.S. through its grants and the recently expanded PAYA Network. 

PAYA is comprised of the following National Partner organizations: Advance CTE, CareerWise Colorado, Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships at Trident Technical College, Education Strategy Group, JFF, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity and the National Governors Association. 

PAYA is supported by funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ballmer Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Joyce Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co., the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Siemens Foundation, Smidt Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.