Skip to Content

Vol State Launches Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Vol State Launches Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program

Vol State has partnered with an Overton County-based manufacturing company to launch the first registered apprenticeship program in the school’s 53-year history.

Vice President of Economic Development Nick Bishop said the program has been years in the making. He said the school partnered with Hutchinson Manufacturing to develop a program focused on advanced mechatronics. He said the program combines elements of technology, robotics, and manufacturing.

“For so many years, everybody’s kind of pushed the message of ‘Go to college, go to college, go to a university and get your bachelor’s degree,’” Bishop said. “In recent days, that is being debated, and for good reason. But everybody still needs to learn a skill and everybody needs a credential.”

Bishop said having the program accredited by state and federal Departments of Labor allows participants to earn credentials like Journeyman Licenses. He said it is nearly impossible to earn a self-sustaining wage in this region without credentials or certification in a skilled labor field.

“As technology advances in the manufacturing world, everything is kind of automated and runs off of some kind of robotic machine and everything is networked together through local area networks,” Bishop said.

He said the program also benefits the company involved and the region as a whole. He said this partnership in particular aims to upscale the advanced manufacturing workforce, creating more skilled workers in that field and an improved manufacturing industry in the Upper Cumberland.

“Having the registered apprenticeship at Vol State, that’s really a game-changer,” Bishop said. “That opens up a lot of doors to be able to work with the federal government and state government and employers to have access to resources that are only available if you have a registered apprenticeship model.”

He said these programs help advance industries up to the 21st century. He said the school’s Upper Cumberland Fund, a fundraising mechanism that generates donations from local employers and supporters, allows this program and programs like it that are created in the future to require little or no expense from the participants. He said Vol State is committed to creating opportunities like this one and is currently open to companies interested in partnering.


The post Vol State Launches Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.