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The Pathway to a High-Demand, High–Wage Field in Advanced Manufacturing Starts at ChattState

I am excited to feature one of the newest departments within the Engineering Division at Chattanooga State Community College–the Institute of Material Joining and Testing (IMJAT). Catherine Bovell, IMJAT Career Counselor, shares with us the exciting Associate’s degree programs offered within IMJAT that provide rapid training and retraining designed to meet the needs of area employers and employees. The two career pathways are Welding Engineering Technology and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), both high-demand and high-wage fields in advanced manufacturing.

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology (formerly called the Tennessee Technology Center) has had a one-year technical diploma in welding for a number years at ChattState. With grant funding through a special U.S. Department of Labor TAA Grant (Trade Adjustment Assistance), which recognizes the increase in demand for welding and non-destructive testing skills, Chattanooga State was selected to offer this specialized training and equipment in both fields of study. Students who have already completed TCAT’s one-year welding program (technical diploma) may transfer to the two-year degree with 19 hours credit. Students then take classes such as Pre-Calculus, Physics and CAD, to name a few.

So what does each of these Associate’s degrees offer students? They emphasize industry leadership where students not only gain technical skills, but real-world experience as they progress through their classes. Students are offered the ability to not only “fix the problem” but to “design the solution.” The programs include on-the-job training and professional networking with local and regional companies before graduation.

Unknown-5These degrees also include industry-recognized certificates embedded within each program, such as Visual Inspection and the Welding Automation Certificate (robotic welding). Our students use the new robotic welders as well as the virtual welder and testing equipment in the NDT lab.

Students are coming from around the region and the country (Pennsylvania and Georgia to name a couple) to attend our Welding and Non-Destructive Testing programs, because we are one of the few schools in the country offering degrees in these fields.

More information is just a click away:

Dale Grisso works in the marketing department at Chattanooga State.


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