Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Livingston will soon be expanding its welding technology program.
TCAT Livingston President Myra West said the state has funded $1 million to serve Clay and Jackson County high school students.
“It will allow us to put in a brand new welding program shop area at Clay County High School. The program will serve duel enrollment high school students,” West said. “But that will also allow us a shop area to be able to train adult students, as well as industry training in that area if we need to.”
TCAT already offers welding at White County High School, Cookeville High School, and the Cookeville Higher Education Campus. West said Jackson and Clay County students will no longer have to drive to Cookeville or White County for training.
“We’re very excited about having the opportunity to expand,” West said. “Especially in a program where we continue to see a demand in need.”
The funding came from the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program. TCAT Livingston received an additional $1 million to offer its diesel technology program to Livingston Academy students.
The program began two to three years ago under a partnership with Fitzgerald Collision and Repair in Rickman. West said TCAT only enrolled adults students when diesel technology first began.
“So it did not give us a clear pathway for high school students to start and finish in that program. Hopefully, we will be able to have some of the other surrounding counties utilize that program for duel enrollment,” West said. “There’s lots of opportunities that we will have with the $2 million that we didn’t have before, and in the end, it will benefit our students and our workforce across the Upper Cumberland.”
Student recruitment for the programs will begin this Spring.