Oak Ridge High School will receive $46,000 from a labor education grant, a press release said.
Oak Ridge Schools is one of six regional school districts that have partnered with the East Tennessee Development District, or ETDD; Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Knoxville, or TCAT-K; and eleven employer partners to be included in the most recent Tennessee Labor Education Alignment Program grant, or LEAP 2.0.
Besides Oak Ridge, the school districts include Knox, Alcoa, Blount, Anderson County, and Maryville. The 11 employers include ALCOA, Cherokee Millwright, DENSO Manufacturing, BHS Corrugated, Gerdau Steel, Interstate Mechanical, Shoffner Kalthoff, SL Tennessee, Aisin, Eagle Bend/Magna, and 3M, a press release.
The $46,000 that ORHS will receive will be used to purchase Amatrol tabletop trainers for electronic, pneumatic, and hydraulic systems. Successful students will demonstrate mastery of skills with these system components through Certified Production Technician certification. Dual enrollment courses with TCAT Knoxville will begin in the fall of 2017, the press release said.
The objective of LEAP is to “eliminate skills gaps across the state in a proactive, data-driven, and coordinated manner by encouraging collaboration across education and industry and by utilizing regional workforce data to identify and then fill skills gaps across the state.”
The ETDD application brings together secondary partners, postsecondary partners, regional industry, and economic development representatives to address the ever-growing skills gap in East Tennessee, the press release said. It takes a three-prong approach to expanding training capacity. Advanced manufacturing dual enrollment courses are started at the high schools; work-based learning provides internships and co-op experiences to get students into the skills pipeline earlier; and local industries support the work-based learning.
The grant allows TCAT Knoxville to expand its capacity by purchasing equipment to be installed at each of the high schools as well as at a brand new campus facility in Anderson County, the press release said. This expansion will allow for more post-secondary students to enroll in TCAT courses sooner, thus entering the workforce earlier, prepared with needed skills, the release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release was submitted by Holly Cross.