ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL)–A first-of-its-kind higher education facility in the Tri-Cities region came one step closer to becoming a reality Monday.

The Carter County Commission voted unanimously to transfer its Workforce Development Complex to the state of Tennessee for future use as the future Carter County Higher Education Center.

Gov. Bill Lee’s $40 million plan to build a new, joint campus is conditional on the property’s transfer to the state.

Commissioners blocked the transfer last month over concerns the facility would not primarily serve Carter County High School Students.

At the meeting on Monday, Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Elizabethton President Dr. David Hicks said, “it is for Carter County students first and foremost.”

The campus on State Highway 91 will be the first to house both TCAT and community college classes in one location.

Both County Mayor Patty Woodby and Northeast State President Dr. Jeff McCord said this facility will have a generational impact.

“An asset like this is essential to prosperity of future generations,” McCord told commissioners.

Woodby said the buildings will open within the next two years. She said construction is set to begin this summer.

The General Assembly still has to pass Gov. Lee’s budget by July for Carter County to see the promised $40 million.