Blount County celebrates Tennessee Manufacturing Week

MARVYILLE (WATE) – Governor Bill Haslam proclaimed October 3-7 as Manufacturing Week in Tennessee as an opportunity for manufacturers across the state to celebrate and inform residents about the importance of manufacturing in the state.

Blount Partnership is celebrating Manufacturing Week with a series of events honoring manufacturers.

First was a high school STEM tour on Monday, October 3 from 9 to 10 a.m. People can tour the Maryville High School Science, Technology, Engineering and Math career related programs.

Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd were on hand for a special program at Pellissippi State Community College on Tuesday, October 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. celebrating manufacturing and workforce development. Haslam and Boyd will deliver remarks and a special local workforce development update, including an announcement from Alcoa, Inc.

Sam Gregg is a junior at Alcoa High School. He walked alongside Gov. Haslam as they and others toured the Denso facility.

”I was really interested in the manufacturing that goes on around here and I’m really interested in what they talked about in there,” said Gregg.

Gregg was one of many local students touring the plant. Gregg says during the tour he learned more about what the company has to offer and explained what type of job he thought he may enjoy at Denso.

“Probably the computer automation and what goes on around there, just the technical things with like CAD programs and stuff like that,” said Gregg.

This is exactly the goal of the governor’s visit. He wants to get students interested in a manufacturing career. He says providing a trained workforce is essential in growing the state’s economy.

“Letting students know this really is a great career opportunity, this is not your parents manufacturing job. It’s high tech. It’s clean safe work and it’s high paying, good jobs,” said Governor Haslam.

Randy Boyd, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, visited Pellissippi State Community College to emphasize the benefits of a career in manufacturing.

“If they get the skills they need to take some of these new manufacturing jobs in mechatronics and welding they can pretty much guarantee themselves a job anywhere in the state starting at $22 an hour or more,” said Boyd.

After the visit Gregg was very interested in a future in manufacturing and said he would love to work for Denso.

Boyd said there was no excuse for students not to get the technical skills needed for the manufacturing jobs since Tennessee has “Tennessee Promise” providing two years of tuition free attendance at a community or technical college.

Also Tuesday at Pellissippi State, Alcoa aluminum announced that the company will give the college $100,000 to help continue workforce development.

Finally, Newell Brands will be giving a tour of their facilities on Thursday, October 6, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. They manufacture Sharpie products to distribute nationwide.

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