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Robotics center open house May 8
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Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Bob Wolfe speaks April 26 during the grand opening of the Automation and Robotics Training Center in McMinnville. For anyone eager to get a first-hand look at the $5.5 million facility, an open house is this Wednesday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Officials from around the state converged on McMinnville on April 26 to celebrate the grand opening of Motlow’s Automation and Robotics Training Center.

Now it’s time for everyone else to take a peek.

An open house for the new $5.5 million facility will take place this Wednesday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is located at 225 Vo Tech Drive.

“This is a community event that’s open to everyone,” said Larry Flatt, executive director of the robotics center. “People have stopped me and asked, ‘How can I come see the new center?’ This is your chance. Anybody can come and bring as many people as they want. The robots will be running.”

The first class kicks off this Monday at the new facility to provide industrial workers with further training. That’s one goal.

The other is to provide academic credit for students proceeding along a Mechatronics curriculum. Classes for school credit will begin this fall.

“The grand opening was a smashing success,” said Flatt, who indicated more than 200 people were in attendance.

Flatt said the Automation and Robotics Training Center is expected to be a draw for the county, the state, and the entire Southeast as corporations send their employees here to enhance their skill set.

Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Bob Wolfe was among those who spoke at the grand opening in April.

“This is the wave of the future,” said Wolfe. “The other states we compete with for jobs every day, they want to get in on the action with a center like this. What we’re seeing across the globe is automation and robotics.”

The robotics center has been called a game-changer for Warren County with some officials saying it may help to recruit industry because of the advanced training that’s now readily available here.