Roane State, ORNL, industries train workers in composites, advanced manufacturing

John Thornton at Carbon Fiber Technology Facility

John Thornton, left, a graduate of Roane State’s Advanced Materials Training and Education Center and an intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, chats with Roane State President Chris Whaley. (Submitted photos)

John Thornton of Clinton graduated from Roane State Community College’s Advanced Materials Training and Education Center, or AMTEC, a year ago.

Today, he works in one of the most innovative places in the country.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” Thornton said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of this and hopefully develop a career out of it.”

Thornton is one of 13 AMTEC trainees interning at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility. The $35 million plant is a new advanced manufacturing facility designed to reduce the cost of carbon fiber—a critical material for efficient, lightweight vehicles, next-generation wind turbines, and a wide array of other consumer and industrial products.

Through AMTEC and additional programs, Roane State is working with ORNL and area industries to offer the training needed for jobs in composites and other advanced manufacturing fields.

“We expect there will be huge growth in this industry over the next decade, and so anyone that understands carbon fiber or composite manufacturing, or any kind of advanced manufacturing technology, is going to be well-positioned for a good-paying career,” said Lee McGetrick, director of the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility.

Roane State President Tours Carbon Fiber Technology Facility

Lee McGetrick, left, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, shows Roane State President Chris Whaley how products made with carbon fiber are much lighter and stronger than products made with raw materials such as steel.

The AMTEC program provides a variety of training options such as OSHA certification, computer-aided drafting and design, and instruction in composite materials. The grant-funded initiative is available at no cost to those who are unemployed or underemployed. AMTEC courses are noncredit, meaning they do not count toward a college degree or certificate.

Roane State does offer advanced manufacturing programs for college credit, including a one-year certificate program in composite materials. Because Roane State’s composite materials courses are grant-funded, students who already have a college degree, or are close to finishing a degree, may be eligible to take some of these courses at no cost.

The college also has a one-year mechatronics certificate program, which teaches students how to repair high-tech automated machines. Mechatronics includes instruction in electronics, mechanics, computer science, robotics, and process control.

Roane State President Chris Whaley, who recently toured the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, said the initiatives reflect the college’s commitment to becoming a leading provider of education in advanced manufacturing.

“We want to be in a position where we can provide credit and noncredit training that the workforce needs and to hopefully grow as the technology emerges,” Whaley said. “We are going to make sure that the training opportunities we provide are up to speed with what the workforce needs today and in the future.”

For more information on Roane State’s advanced manufacturing programs, call (865) 354-3000, ext. 4764, or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Advertisement
Advertisement

Join the club!

If you support Oak Ridge Today, please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber. You don't have to subscribe to read our stories, but your contribution will help us grow and improve our coverage.

We currently offer three subscription levels: $5, $10, or $25 per month. We accept payments through PayPal. You may also visit our subscription page for information on other options.

Thank you for your support.


Subscription options




Advertisement

Advertisement




Commenting Guidelines

We welcome comments, but we ask you to follow a few guidelines:

1) Please use your real name, including last name. Please also use a valid e-mail address. We do our best to confirm identities. If we are unable to confirm your identity or your comments don't appear to be posted using a real, full name, your comments may not post or may be removed.
2) Be civil. Don't insult others, attack their character, or get personal.
3) Stick to the issues.
4) No profanity.
5) Keep your comments to a reasonable length and to a reasonable number per article.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these guidelines. Comments from readers posting for the first time may be held for review, and they will not be posted if they violate the guidelines. We urge you to do your best to follow the guidelines if you would like to see your comment posted. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

More information is available here.

More Business News

Arlene Garrison

Anderson Chamber elects new board member

Arlene A. Garrison, vice president of university partnerships at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, has been elected to serve on the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Garrison, with more than 35 … [Read More...]

SL Tennessee Assembly Line

Photos: SL Tennessee expansion

  CLINTON—Tennessee officials and SL Tennessee executives on Friday announced 1,000 new auto parts manufacturing jobs as part of a $80.5 million expansion in the Clinton I-75 Industrial Park in Clinton. It could … [Read More...]

More Business

More Education News

Scarboro Backpack Giveaway

Spotlight: Scarboro backpack giveaway

  Submitted Children enjoyed the Scarboro Back Pack Give-A-Way, which was held on Saturday, July 19, at the Scarboro Community Center. A special thanks to Walmart, as well as community volunteers from the … [Read More...]

More Education