Stressing adaptability and willingness to work with industry to provide what’s needed for a well-trained workforce, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology met with business leaders Tuesday in a lunch and learn to educate them on courses available through the local technical college.
“Part of our mission is to be responsive to what your needs are,” said TCAT McMinnville director Dr. Warren Laux, pointing to the numerous disciplines taught on the local campus including machine tooling, auto mechanics, industrial maintenance, welding, computer technology, and nursing. “And this is changing all the time. We may find a need for a discipline and start a new class to fill that need.”
Warren County Executive Herschel Wells noted TCAT is a great resource for industry which sorely needs trained workers.
“All areas of need for industry are trained here,” Wells told the numerous business leaders who were at the meeting, noting there are not enough qualified workers to fill the jobs available right now in Warren County. “The demand exceeds the availability for these jobs.”
Terri Bryan, business solutions and workforce developer for TCAT McMinnville who sponsored the event along with the McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, believes more students should take advantage of the local campus since graduates of the various disciplines very often go straight to good-paying jobs, some hired before they even finish their classes.
“There is a misconception out there that we don’t take financial aid and that’s not at all true,” Bryan said. “We take Tennessee Promise, Pell Grant and other financial aid. Our financial aid department will work closely with the student.”
Bryan pointed out that since TCAT is constantly adapting to keep up with ever-changing technology, demand is high for TCAT graduates.
“What can we do to serve you?” Bryan asked the business leaders, noting they listen to any needs of local industry and will do what they can to provide training for those workers.
Marvin Lusk, assistant director of TCAT McMinnville, said that along with providing trained workers, the campus never forgets its top priority.
“The students are the main reason we are here,” Lusk said, noting that this Monday, Feb. 6, there will be a “signing day” for many upcoming graduates where they will sign letters of intent to work at various businesses once their course work is complete. Lusk pointed out it is like college signing day for high school athletes except in this case the students are signing for careers.
TCAT McMinnville can be reached by calling 473-5587. It’s located next to Motlow College on Vo-Tech Drive.