Information from WYSH Radio
Wednesday morning, officials gathered at the new Tennessee College of Applied Technology–or TCAT—facility on Andersonville Highway for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new but temporary TCAT facility is expected to be a boon to local industries and prospective employees alike by offering courses geared toward the industries operating in this area.
The owners of the former Hensley’s grocery store donated the vacant 20,000-square foot building 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 a new, premanent TCAT on land donated by SL Tennessee in the I-75 Industrial Park.
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. Companies like SL and Aisin Automotive Casting, 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 when it opens in 2019.
Once the permanent campus opens in Clinton, officials are hoping that the Hensley’s facility could be used for training students in nursing and other medical fields, possibly through a collaboration with Roane State Community College.
The former Hensley’s building renovation is being funded by local industries and a $250,000 contribution made last year by the Anderson County Commission. The new Clinton TCAT is being funded with $5.7 million as part of Governor Bill Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative, which aims to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025.
WYSH Radio in Clinton is an Oak Ridge Today news partner.