Tennessee Technology Center attracts record number of displaced workers

From Staff Reports
Displaced workers in upper East Tennessee are enrolling at the Tennessee Technology Center in Elizabethton in record numbers, according to Jerry Patton, director. Patton addressed members of the center's advisory committee Thursday, Oct. 9.
"A skilled labor force is needed to attract future jobs to the region," Patton said.
Bob Robinson, son of former state Senator Herman Robinson, of Elizabethton, was elected chairman of the advisory committee during Thursday's meeting. Sen. Robinson sponsored legislation to create the state area Vocational Technical Schools in 1963, which was later renamed the Herman Robinson campus by action of the Tennessee General Assembly.
Sandy Barker, nursing instructor, told committee members that recent graduates of the practical nursing program at the Elizabethton center found jobs in hospitals, nursing homes and doctor's offices in Johnson City and Kingsport.
This fall, the center also launched a new online six-month Dietary Certificate Program, and six students are currently enrolled, according to Pat Roark, RN and program director.
The cost of tuition and books for the dietary program is $1,100, Roark said, and students from as far away as Seattle, Wash., Arkansas and Texas have inquired about the program.
Patton also announced that a new ACT Center has been established at the center. Open 20 hours a week, including Saturdays, the center will offer testing services to area business and industries. An additional 2400-plus online programs will be available through the center for industry training.
The Elizabethton center offers a variety of programs to prepare students for skilled labor industries. Tuition for full-time students is $387 per quarter. Some off-campus courses are taught in Kingsport, Johnson City and Mountain City.
The center's main campus is located on U.S. Highway 91 across from the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. For information, call 423-543-0070.