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TCAT offers technical education close to home
Tennessee College of Applied Technology has expanded its Industrial Maintenance program to fill demand. There are now three instructors, two for the daytime class and one for the evening class. Pictured is Industrial Maintenance instructor Tommy Dodd, who offers students an introduction into the course.

If you’re considering starting off the new year with a new profession, take a look at what Tennessee College of Applied Technology has to offer.
“I say we are the best-kept secret in town,” said TCAT assistant director Marvin Lusk. “We’re hiding in plain sight. Everyone knows we’re here, but not everyone knows what we offer.”
Since 1966, TCAT McMinnville has offered students first-rate career and technical education. The school is a premier provider for workforce development. It provides state-of-the-art technical training for workers to obtain technical skills and professional training necessary for advancement. TCAT is a modern training facility designed to simulate the occupational environment found in places of employment.
Among the courses offered are: Industrial Maintenance, Machine Tool Technology, Electronics Technology, Computer Information Technology, Automotive Technology, Admini-strative Office Technology, Welding, Practical Nursing, and Hybrid Practical Nursing.
The Industrial Maintenance program is designed to give students general skills in a variety of areas common to industry. Cross training enables a student to have knowledge in several areas and not be limited to one field of expertise that could become outdated. Bringing multiple skills to the workplace enhances the employee’s value to the employer.
Lusk says there has been a big demand for the school’s Industrial Maintenance program.
“We had so many applications, we had to open another section. Now, we have three Industrial Maintenance instructors.”
One of those instructors is Tommy Dodd.
“The day course is split into two sections,” Dodd said. “I get the new students. I take them about half way through the course. Most of this is computer-based training and textbook training. When they complete all that’s required in here, then they transfer to Melvin Childers’ class. He’s got all the hands-on trainers.”
Also offered is an evening course Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7:45 p.m. with instructor Bob Steele. More than 60 students are enrolled in both the day and evening course.
Machine Tool Technology program prepares students for jobs as mechanist, machine setup operator, and CNC operator. The course is designed to give the student experience on a variety of machine tools similar to those on which he/ she will work after graduation including computerized numerical controlled machines. Instruction is given in related blueprint reading, mathematics, precision measuring, and basic metallurgy.
Electronics Technology program prepares students for jobs are maintenance technician, fire-burglar alarm technician, home automation tech, and instrumentation technician. Students first learn the basics of electronics then learn to use ladder logic diagrams and schematics.
Computer Information Technology prepares students for jobs in computer maintenance, help desk operator, CIT security specialist, and network operator.
Automotive Technology prepares students for jobs related to servicing and repairing vehicles. The purpose is to graduate a technician with a thorough understanding of the methods of servicing and repairing all aspects of vehicles.
Administrative Office Technology prepares students for jobs as receptionist, marketing assistant, administrative assistant, accounting assistant, and medical administrative assistant. Interpersonal skills and professional attitudes are taught along with computer skills and office procedures.
Welding prepares students for jobs in shops, industries and general facility maintenance. The program provides students with the basic and advanced techniques of the welding procedures and processes common in industry.
Practical Nursing prepares students for jobs in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, home health, schools, long-term care facilities, dialysis facilities, and correction facilities. The program provides students with basic nursing skills.
Hybrid Practical Nursing is similar to that of the Practical Nursing program. However, instruction is a mixture of on-site and online, with 51 percent being on-site.