The Shelbyville Bedford Partnership hosted “Tenders and Tea at TCAT,” a get together with their partners and supporters to promote the expansion of the area’s workforce development and the new Tennessee College of Applied Technology facility.
As attendees enjoyed chicken tenders and sweet tea, multiple city and state leaders as well as local industrial business representatives came and spoke about the progress and need of the new TCAT facility planned for the 231 North Business Park.
Dr. Laura Monks, Ph.D., president of TCAT in Shelbyville, emphasized the institution’s recognition as the Tennessee Board of Regents technical school of year in 2021.
She said they’ll hopefully see more headway on the new facility being built on HWY 231 as early as next spring.
“What you’ll see in here is millions of dollars’ worth of equipment that would not be possible if it wasn’t for your support,” said Monks.
Shelbyville City Manager Joshua Ray said, “The new facility...is not only going to be a gateway into Shelbyville, but also something that gives us the ability to change lives for many decades to come.”
The $42.4 million budget for the new facility has been championed by Rep. Pat Marsh, who attended the event and emphasized the need to train people specifically to work in this community.
“We know how desperate people are for work,” he said. For example, “We have over 150 trucks today that are empty with no drivers. We have a driver’s course out here, so we’re promoting that like nursing and welding and industrial maintenance and computer training.”
Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham was also in attendance, and he spoke about his goal of attracting the kind of skilled workers many communities need.
“What I am most interested in is bringing in entrepreneurs, business professionals, millennials to Bedford. How do we do that? We do that through quality of place. What constitutes quality of place? Higher education, a strong K-12 education system, having economic development jobs for people,” Graham said.
Read Tuesday’s paper for more information about the City and County’s development plan laid out during the Chamber Luncheon.
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