County awarded ThreeStar grant

Locally, funds will help build second CCHS greenhouse

NASHVILLE-The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced today the 63 counties, including Clay, which will receive ThreeStar Competitive Grants.

The grants will be used for a variety of local programs addressing economic development, public safety, health, education and workforce development.

Clay County was one of 15 counties to receive a $15,000 grant, said local ThreeStar director Doug Young.

“We’ve received several similar grants in the past for various projects,” Young said, “and this one will be used to help build a second greenhouse at Clay County High School. We’re eager to partner with the school system to provide more opportunities for our high school students.”

School officials are also eager to start on a second greenhouse.

“We are excited to be able to expand work-based learning opportunities for Clay County High School students,” said Clay County School System Career Technical Education director Jayne Donaldson “The goal is to prepare students not only intellectually, but to give them the technical and social skills needed to compete and contribute meaningfully to our community.”

“This second greenhouse will enable us to give even more students an opportunity to get skills they might want to pursue in a work-related situation in the future, or just to get life skills that could help them put lower-cost, wholesome food on their tables at home,” said CCHS agriculture teacher Beth McMurtrey.

“It’s exciting for us to be able to add more learning opportunities for our students,” said Clay County Schools Director Matt Eldridge. “We appreciate the local ThreeStar organization for their help in making this possible.”

To be eligible to apply for these grants, each community must meet all ThreeStar program requirements. ThreeStar focuses on best practices in five key community areas, including jobs and economic development, fiscal strength and efficient government, public safety, health, education and workforce development.

“I want to congratulate these 63 communities on being awarded ThreeStar Competitive Grants,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “I am excited to see these communities thrive with the assistance of these grants. The projects that each awarded county will be working on are innovative and show that these Tennessee counties are committed to improving as a community, which, in turn, will make our state succeed as a whole.”

“TNECD is proud to partner with these 63 communities as they make strides to invest in themselves and succeed,” TNECD Assistant Commissioner of Rural Development Amy New said. “The ThreeStar dollars serve as a seed money for future economic investments and local initiatives across Tennessee as we continue to build our state’s economy.”

In total, TNECD has awarded $975,000 to Tennessee communities through this round of the ThreeStar Competitive Enhancement Grant program. Funding for the program comes through the department’s existing budget. TNECD is committed to helping communities in the areas that they prioritize on a local level. The projects are new programs or expand upon existing programs. All are based on the communities’ ThreeStar planning process. The 63 counties selected were chosen out of 75 applications.

Each application was supported by the community’s senator and representatives in the Tennessee General Assembly.

For more information on the ThreeStar program go to