Information from WYSH Radio
The Anderson County Commission learned Monday night that the county has been chosen by the state to be the next home of a Tennessee College of Applied Technology—or TCAT. TCATs are training facilities aimed at improving the skill levels of members of Tennessee’s workforce and are seen by potential industries as great training grounds for potential employees.
Anderson County Economic Development Association President Tim Thompson told commissioners Monday that his organization and the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce have been working hard on securing the facility for more than a year and that the county had beaten out Blount County.
Thompson credited the owners of the former Hensley’s IGA grocery store in Andersonville and SL Tennessee in the I-75 Industrial park for their roles in making the TCAT a reality. The Hensley owners have agreed to donate the vacant 20,000-square foot store to the state to renovate and use as a temporary training facility for a period of about two years. The temporary facility will be needed while the state builds the new College of Applied Technology on a seven-acre parcel of land donated for the project by SL Tennessee.
Companies like SL and Aisin, to name two of the area’s auto parts manufacturers, will benefit the most from the Clinton facility, which will be geared toward the increasingly high-tech auto parts industry.
Economic development officials say that one of the biggest complaints they hear from potential industrial tenants is about the lack of highly-qualified individuals in the workforce, and this branch of TCAT should go a long way toward improving that employee pool.
Pending the awarding of state funding later this year, the Commission on Monday approved setting aside $250,000 for continued renovations at the old Hensley’s location, which, when the new TCAT is built in the industrial park, could be used for training students in nursing and other medical fields, possibly through a collaboration with Roane State Community College.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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