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By JOHN THOMPSON | Oct 20, 2023
ELIZABETHTON — Although the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Elizabethton has announced its enrollment has doubled over the past year; going from 548 students last year to 1,152 students this fall; the school is continuing its efforts to attract more students to its campus. On Thursday and Friday, it began working with area middle schools and elementary schools on an outreach program to inform the students about technical education.
The first effort in the outreach took place at Cloudland Elementary School, where 6th graders were taught basic hand tool identification, usage and safety. TCAT Elizabethton Vice President Richard Church said the school had its TCAT certification truck at the school to provide the instruction.
But the program won’t stop with just Cloudland Elementary. TCAT plans on selecting one school each semester to conduct the instruction and extend technical education opportunities and exploration into its partner middle schools. Carter County is currently the leading school system in dual enrollment with TCAT Elizabethton, with 109 students.
The first effort of the outreach was well received in the county school system. Cloudland Elementary School Principal Scott Potter said: “To give our students this opportunity of what is out there in technical fields and future CTE programs is a big deal. We are thankful for this opportunity for our kids.”
Mark Revis, director of career technical education for the Carter County School System said: “This is just another example of the strong relationship between TCAT-Elizabethton and Carter County Schools. We now have the ability to expose students even earlier to career and training opportunities.”
Brandon Carpenter, director of the Carter County School System, said the outreach program is working well with the school system’s efforts to open up more opportunities for Carter County students to learn valuable trades. That point was emphasized by the fact that five Carter County students have just been selected for employment at Tennessee Eastman, with the lowest starting pay at $26 per hour. The school system is committed to increasing its dual enrollment with TCAT Eizabethton well above the current record of 109 students.
Church said: “career exploration and training for sixth- through eighth-graders is the new frontier for our institution. We are thankful for Carter County Schools and Cloudland Elementary for allowing us to expose their students to the training and career opportunities at TCAT. Thank you to our instructors David Campbell and Joe Miller for helping to make this happen. This is good for students in our region.”
This article was originally published by Johnston City Press on Oct 20, 2023.