WSCC receives state grant for enhanced training for high school students

Walters State Community College has received a $981,000 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to provide career education tools and opportunities for enhanced training to area high school students as well as apprenticeship programs for area manufacturers. This grant will fund the college’s TIME (Training Industrial Manufacturing Excellence) Program, uniting Walters State’s 10-county service area through a partnership that includes economic- and community- development agencies, school systems and employers.

The funding is part of the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) grant initiative and was funded by the Tennessee General Assembly. . The program facilitates the alignment of local workforce and education partners to facilitate employer-driven career pathways.

This presents a unique opportunity for educators and employers throughout our service area to present vocational opportunities in manufacturing and other key skill areas to students earlier in their educational journey,” Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State, said. “We know that students make better choices when given information. This grant will enable us to provide that information in new, more relevant ways through experiences like pre-apprenticeships.”

TIME is designed to implement services to assist high school students in preparing to join the workforce. Specific plans have been developed based on local workforce needs. TIME will also provide these effective general education enhancements:

The Walters State Division of Workforce Training will develop and deliver classes emphasizing the skills needed for the Work Ethic Diploma, including the attitudes and habits needed by employers.

Virtual reality exercises and summer camps will give students more information on the actual work involved in manufacturing, correcting many long-held stereotypes.

The college’s Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Technology program will offer prior learning assessment credit for the completion of Scientific Management Technology assessments.

Students will receive work-based learning experiences through apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and other real-world opportunities.

Partners named in the grant are the Claiborne County School System and the East Tennessee Human Resource Agency. Two employers are included: ARTAZN, one of the leading producers of zinc products with headquarters in Greeneville; and Iatric, a hygienic supplier, with a location in Hamblen County. While these organizations partnered in the grant process, the collaboration will expand to include more school systems, community- and economic- development agencies and employers.

We are fortunate at Walters State to have such a close working relationship with area school systems, community agencies and employers,” said Dr. John LaPrise, vice president for educational outreach at Walters State. “I look forward to working with these to have a lasting impact on future high school graduates.”