Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lewisburg Partnering to Upgrade Workforce Development Training

The City of Lewisburg, Marshall County and the State of Tennessee recognize that Workforce Development is the top issue facing manufacturing today. So, we are proud to announce a series of Workforce Development and Training improvements to the region thanks to our partners - Gov. Bill Haslam, The State of Tennessee Department of Economic and
Community Development, the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board, the South Central Tennessee Development District, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Pulaski, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville, the Spot Lowe Technology Center in Lewisburg and several local industries. 

LEAP Grants
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently announced recipients of the Labor Education Alignment Program competition, a state effort focused on increasing opportunities for Tennesseans to obtain a certificate or degree beyond high school that is
aligned with the needs of the workforce in their communities. 

Funded by a $10 million appropriation by the General Assembly, the LEAP competition required applicants to respond to a competitive Request for Proposals that was released in September. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Governor’s Workforce Subcabinet, consisting of

Commissioners and staff from the following agencies:

-         Tennessee Board of Regents
-         Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
-         Tennessee Department of Education
-         Tennessee Department of Human Services
-         Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
-         Tennessee Higher Education Commission

Lewisburg and Marshall County are pleased to announce that two regional projects were selected for the funded inlcuding:
South Central Tennessee Development District - TCAT Shelbyville - $970,000.00
South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance - TCAT- Pulaski - $970,000.00

The first project will create an Industrial Maintenance Technology program administered by TCAT-Shelbyville in a city-owned facility in downtown Lewisburg. The program will fund a computer classroom, industrial equipment laboratory and an instructor to teach the Industrial Maintenance Technology program to students in Marshall County. 

The regional program will also create classrooms and labs for the training in Bedford County, Franklin County and Lincoln County. 

The project is a collaboration of TCAT-Shelbyville, the South Central TN Development District and the Economic and Community Development organizations in each community working with local industries. 

In Lewisburg, Marshall County provided $5,000 in matching funds, the Lewisburg Industrial Development Board provided $1,000 in matching funds, the City of Lewisburg provided the facility in which the program will operate and several Lewisburg industries pledged funding and equipment donations for the program including Calsonic Kansei North America, Nichirin and Berry Plastics. 

The second LEAP project awarded funding in the region will create a Certified Production Technician curriculum for the middle and high school technology centers in the 8-county region along with the purchasing of equipment for the centers including Machining equipment, PLC equipment, Robotic Welders and 3D Printers.

The Spot Lowe Technology Center in Lewisburg will be the recipient of the new training equipment and has already begun assigning three of its instructors to take the required training to become certified to teach the Certified Production Technician (CPT) training. 

The CPT training will allow high school students to graduate as a nationally certified production technician and receive dual-enrollment credits from TCAT-Pulaski so that students will have a shorter time and less tuition toward their Advanced Manufacturing Certification.

Speaking of TCAT-Pulaski, the technology college held a open house on December 16 for its new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. The upgraded AME center has new Engel Injection Molding machines, new 3D printing machines, new PLC testing and training equipment capable of running Siemens or Allen Bradley systems and more. 

The new state-of-the-art training center was developed through conversations with industries in the region on the needs of their workforce in training and development. 

TCAT-Pulaski has also begun using its Routsis Online Plastics Certification Training program that allows students to take their training online from the classroom or in their homes or places of work. Using this technique, students can take the bulk of the certification training at their own pace before finishing up their hands-on training and taking their certification testing. 

The Routsis Online Training program was funded for one year with assistance from Marshall County and the Marshall County Joint Economic and Community Development Board. 

Thanks to all the partners for developing and implementing a series of Workforce Development programs that will insure Lewisburg and Marshall County are training and providing the best workforce to its new and existing industries for years to come.