Funds to benefit TCAT’s IT students

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

As the technological world continues to grow, students in Stoney Creek will now be able to keep pace.
To help with the cause, Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) – Elizabethton was presented a $3,000 contribution by AT&T Tuesday morning geared to bulking up the school’s IT department for students coming through the ranks. The Elizabethton campus was one of 27 TCATs across the state that benefitted from an $81,000 donation by AT&T to the Tennessee Board of Regents. Providing the funding, according to Alan Hill, regional director of external affairs for AT&T Tennessee, is part of the company’s mission to provide workforce development through training that is “economical and accessible to all residents of Tennessee.”
“As the need for IT personnel surges, the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology are helping students develop the critical skills required to enter the workforce and find good jobs right here in Tennessee. We are delighted to support these students on their journey to professional development,” Hill said in a statement issued to the Elizabethton Star.
Tuesday’s contribution will go toward the purchase of network storage units “which will help support training for high-skill jobs requiring technology-based skills through Tennessee. The use of the units will prepare students to successfully recover from a mock disaster and practice implementing recovery plans,” according to information provided by the company.
With technological jobs, like the IT field, continually growing in demand, having partnerships in place with businesses only help ease the transition for students, according to TCAT – Elizabethton President Dean Blevins.
“The partnerships that TCAT – Elizabethton has with our industry partners are invaluable,” Blevins said following Tuesday’s check presentation. “The things they bring to us, whether it’s equipment, monetary donations or employment of our graduates, the partnerships we have are just paramount for the day-to-day training we provide students here at TCAT. This donation ensures our students will have the equipment they’ll see when they go out into the workforce. I can’t speak enough for what this morning does for the college and the importance of this contribution.”
Representation from AT&T and TCAT – Elizabethton students and administration were joined by Rep. Jon Holsclaw and Sen. Jon Lundberg during Tuesday’s presentation.
“We have worked hard to create a climate that is welcoming of new business which can be seen in the record growth Tennessee is experiencing,” Rep. Holsclaw said. “With this growth comes the need for a high-skill workforce and through programs like those offered at TCAT, graduates will be prepared to succeed in a modern workplace.”
Sen. Lundberg second the thoughts of his State Representative counterpart.
“Technology is creating new jobs and new jobs require new skills. Through this partnership with AT&T and TCAT-Elizabethton, I am confident our graduates will have the necessary skills today’s employer’s demand,” said Sen Lundberg.
The announcements continue an exciting trend for the facility. TCAT – Elizabethton is experienced record enrollment number, according to Blevins, for the fall trimester that started September 5. Blevins credited the numbers with success from Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect. Completion and placement rates related to job fields are also high for the facility.

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