Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn visited Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Livingston campus on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Livingston TCAT President Myra West and her staff shared with Gov. Lee information about workforce development and student success at the college.
Gov. Lee took the opportunity to tour the Welding Technology program, the Automotive Technology Program, and the Industrial Maintenance Program.
West said, “We were honored to have Gov. Lee and Commissioner Schwinn on our campus. TCAT Livingston staff and faculty appreciated the opportunity to showcase the training we are doing in the Upper Cumberland.”
The visit focused on the following successes of the college:
•Capital Outlay Project: A new building will be constructed in 2020 to accommodate a new program in Transportation, Distribution, Warehousing and Logistics as well as the Automotive Technology program.
After completion of the building, the Welding Technology program will move into the space currently housing the Automotive Technology program. The move will allow the college to add another 10 welding booths – increasing the number of students who can enroll in the program.
•Dual Enrollment Growth and New Programs: Currently, the college has 1,120 dual enrollment students and serves 8 different high schools in the Upper Cumberland.
The college has four training locations: the main campus in Livingston, the Cookeville Higher Education Campus, the Jackson County Instructional Service Center, and the Diesel Technology Program located in Rickman at the Fitzgerald Collision Repair Center. The total FTE for the college has grown to well over 600 students.
New programs have been added in Advanced Manufacturing Technology (Robotics), Cosmetology Instructor Training, Manicuring, HVAC, Patient Care Technology/Medical Assisting, Powerline Construction and Maintenance Technology, and TDWL.
Overton County also received a Three-Star Grant that will assist in purchasing equipment for a new program in Electrical and Plumbing Technology to start in 2020.
•Outstanding Student: Gov. Lee talked with TCAT Livingston’s Outstanding Student of the Year, Logan Strode.
Strode is a student in our Industrial Maintenance Program. While in high school, he was a Clay County High School dual enrollment student and completed his Machine Tool Technology training while in high school. He received his Machinist Diploma two weeks prior to his high school graduation. After high school, Strode enrolled as an adult student in the Industrial Maintenance program and will graduate in Spring 2020.
As part of his training, Strode is working at VF Transformers in Celina through a co-op program.
He explained to Gov. Lee how he was using the skills he has obtained through his training at TCAT in his job at VF Transformers.
Strode plans to open his open business after graduation.
Instructor Terry Sparks gave an overview of the Automotive program and the types of skills needed by technicians working in the automotive industry.
Industrial Maintenance instructors James Cantrell and Andrew Beechboard showcased the college’s Industrial Maintenance Mechatronics and Robotics labs and the partnerships the program has with local industry throughout the Upper Cumberland. The program provides special industry training for many of the advanced manufacturing employers and provides a highly skilled pipeline of technicians for manufacturing companies in the region.
West said, “We believe our training is changing lives and has a positive impact on the communities we are serving. Our focus as a college is to be the leader in workforce development and training while maintaining an environment on campus that encourages student success.”