Source: The Daily Times | Rachel Totten | October 5, 2016

ALCOA announced Tuesday during a Manufacturing Week celebration and tour of Pellissippi State Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Lab that $100,000 of the $380,000 granted locally by the ALCOA Foundation will be awarded to Pellissippi State’s Pathways in Careers in Automated Manufacturing program.

Recognizing the ever-growing need for programs and training opportunities in manufacturing, ALCOA Plant Manager Jeff Weida explained the grant was specifically designed to help train more technicians through dual-enrollment programs by creating a clear pathway into the electrical and mechanical industry for Blount County students.

“We want to help provide the training that our area demands,” he said, adding that the remainder of the Foundation’s grant will go toward various Science, Technology, Engineer and Math (STEM) education and workforce development programs in the region.

“For students to see the pathways and opportunities to move into a great company like ALCOA is absolutely critical to our area,” said Pellissippi State President Dr. Anthony Wise. “We have to make sure we have the best technical training programs in our schools.”

They are the jobs of tomorrow, he said.

Leading a tour of PSCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Lab, Executive Director of Business and Community Services Teri Brahams said, “If we pool our resources and come together, we can be so much more successful. The jobs are here, we just have to meet that demand.”

The ALCOA Foundation grant will be used to purchase textbooks and industrial automation computers for students in the Industrial Maintenance Technology and Automated Industrial systems concentrations at Pellissippi State.