Regional economic partners visit TCAT – Elizabethton

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Bolstering the economic presence for Northeast Tennessee continues to be the goal for one organization.

Representatives from the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP) visited Tennessee College of Applied Technology  (TCAT) – Elizabethton Tuesday for a “Lunch and Learn” meeting to discuss the various programs offered by the school and how they impact the local workforce.

A handful of NeTREP members, including CEOs and human resource personnel were able to receive a first-hand look at what the school provides, ranging from its programs of study to the various certifications available on site.

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Patricia Henderson, TCAT student services coordinator, spent the early portion of the lunch presenting a powerpoint that highlighted both topics. The variety of programs offered by the school typically can earn a graduate a job with pay scales varying from the early $20,000 a year to anywhere toward $40,000 — depending on the field of study.

Henderson also spoke about the importance of the school’s ability to offer National Coalition Certification Center (NC3) certification. TCAT is one of only five Southeast Regional Training Centers in the United States. The school’s Automotive, Diesel Powered Equipment and HVAC programs grant Snap-On NC3 certification. HVAC also grants TRANE NC3 certification.

Having the ability to offer certifications proves to be important for an ever-growing workforce need, according to TCAT President Dean Blevins. With the various certifications, the school tends to be a hotbed for potential employees for surrounding businesses, including Eastman Chemical in Kingsport. Both graduation and placement numbers at the school were around 90 percent in 2017, showcasing the school’s ability to help their students find jobs across the area.

Attendees were also able to view the campus, located in Stoney Creek, and tour the different areas of training.

TCAT is another resource NeTREP is hoping to utilize as they continue their goal of assisting the economic development for Carter, Washington and Unicoi counties.