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AT&T donates $3K to TCAT
AT&T donated $3,000 to TCAT in McMinnville on Tuesday afternoon to fund more networking equipment Pictured, from left, are state Rep. Paul Sherrell, instructor Jacob McGonigle, TCAT president Warren Laux and AT&T representative Alan Hill. - photo by Lacy Garrison
TCAT Computer Information Technology student Spencer Johnson configures a router for a functioning wireless network. He is one of the students who will benefit from AT&T’s donation. - photo by Lacy Garrison

As part of AT&T’s continuing commitment to support quality education across Tennessee, the company has donated $3,000 to Tennessee College of Applied Technology.

The contribution will be used to purchase networking equipment which will help support training for high-skill jobs requiring technology-based skills.  

“We are grateful to AT&T and its continued support of public higher education and our students, who will benefit greatly from the company’s generosity,” said Dr. Warren Laux, president of TCAT McMinnville. “Tennessee needs more information technology professionals to fill the surging number of jobs today and ahead. This contribution from AT&T will help our technical colleges provide the critical training, on the newest technology, that students need for these jobs.”

This donation is part of the AT&T Foundation’s $150,000 gift to the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Funding will provide 27 TCATs up to $3,000 each to purchase new networking setups used to teach infrastructure design, security and planning, and to practice implementing and protecting networks and operating plans.

Computer Information Technology instructor Jacob McGonigle described some of the equipment that was purchased with the funding last year, including a Wi-Spy antenna.

“It’s very versatile and we’ve used it here for heat maps,” explained McGonigle. “You can go around and see where your Wi-Fi is the strongest so you literally get a red to green scale of where access points for your network are. Students feel like James Bond walking around checking things out.”

Officials say Tennessee’s information technology and technical needs are growing at an exponential rate, creating increased demand for well-trained IT personnel who are crucial to the economic development of Tennessee businesses and industries.  

“We are excited to continue our support for TCAT McMinnville to help more students gain the high-demand skills necessary to compete for quality job opportunities and to empower more students to reach their highest potential,” said AT&T representative Alan Hill.

TCAT is located at 241 Vo Tech Drive and can be reached at 473-5587.