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Grant will put NSCC simulators on the road

Northeast State Community College will use a federal grant to take its innovative training simulators on the road.
A $36,750 grant from the Department of Agriculture will be used to develop a self-contained mobile advanced manufacturing virtual simulator lab for the college’s training platforms for the department of advanced technologies.
Northeast State President Janice H. Gilliam accepted the Rural Business Enterprise grant from USDA representative Chuck Morris on May 29. A $16,900 match in equipment purchases provided by the college completes the funding.
“We are delighted the USDA awarded Northeast State this grant to enhance and expand the instructional opportunities we can provide to students across our service area,” Gilliam said.
The mobile lab will allow the college to transport its welding simulator, robotic training station and automotive paint simulator to teaching sites across the school’s five-county service area.
Linda W. Calvert, executive director of the college’s grant development office, wrote the grant and submitted it to the USDA to buy the trailer and related instructional materials.
She said the lab “provides a valuable learning tool for students entering our regional workforce. This grant provides a new opportunity for Northeast State to educate students on diverse manufacturing careers and showcase virtual teaching models.”
Instructors use the simulators to teach industrial technology and electrical technology disciplines and students use them to gain first-hand experience in what it takes to complete the programs of study. The college sees a significant financial savings using the simulators rather than the more expensive raw materials used in advanced technology courses.
Manufacturing is a major industry in the Northeast Tennessee. According to the 2013 Tennessee Manufacturers Registrar, the region is home to one-third of Tennessee’s manufacturing jobs and is the second-largest industrial employment area in the state.
“Companies are looking for qualified workers with the requisite skills and knowledge needed to compete in a global economy,” Gilliam said. “Northeast States stands ready to answer the challenge for our students and the region.”