Department of Labor awards Pellissippi State $3.8 million grant

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Pellissippi State Community College a $3.8 million workforce development grant that will allow the college to enhance its recruitment and training of women, young adults and other underrepresented minorities in the information technology and advanced manufacturing fields.

Pellissippi State is expected to begin recruiting students from around the region through the Knoxville Area Information Technology and Engineering, or KITE, grant in January 2017. In particular, KITE will focus on young adults (ages 17-29) with barriers to gainful employment, particularly women and minorities. KITE also will be open to nontraditional college students, particularly those between the ages of 45 and 60, who are under- or unemployed and who also lack skills to obtain jobs or promotions.

“Pellissippi State leads the way in workforce development in East Tennessee,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Through KITE, we’ll partner with local employers to combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training to help boost the local economy and fill high-demand jobs with skilled employees.”

KITE will pair Pellissippi State students with a number of key regional employers, including DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Jewelry Television, Staffing Solutions, Scripps Networks Interactive and others for on-the-job training — in the form of internships, apprenticeships or co-ops. Knoxville-Knox County CAC – Workforce Connections and KnoxWorks will provide students with interviewing, resume writing and job placement assistance.

 “KITE is going to address identified gaps in training within the fields of information technology and advanced manufacturing, including the fact that women, minorities and other underrepresented populations are often rare in these fields,” Wise said.

Additionally, a portion of the DOL grant will go toward the purchase of specialized computer equipment at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue and Strawberry Plains campuses, where high-tech computer labs will support the college’s new Cyber Defense concentration. Other funds will augment Engineering Technology programs offered at the Blount County, Hardin Valley and Strawberry Plains campuses.

Pellissippi State was one of 39 institutions across the country to win a Department of Labor TechHire award, and the only Tennessee institution to do so. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

 

Download this press release: KITE Grant

Pellissippi State hosts workshops for high school students with disabilities

Pellissippi State Community College invites local high school students with disabilities and their parents to attend college career readiness workshops.

The one-hour workshop will inform students and parents about how to take and request accommodations for the ACT test, including when to take the ACT, general testing tips, and the types of accommodations you can request. The workshop is totally free, but participants must register. Reserve a spot at www.pstcc.edu/upep.

The workshops are provided by the college’s Universal Pathways to Employment Project. Dates, times and locations:

  • Blount County Campus — 6-7 p.m., Feb. 4, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, room 147
  • Division Street Campus — 6-7 p.m., Feb. 1, 3435 Division Street, room 100
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus — 6-7 p.m., Feb. 2, 1610 E. Magnolia Avenue, room 100
  • Strawberry Plains Campus — 6-7 p.m., Feb. 1, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike, room 2053

Pellissippi State’s Universal Pathways to Employment Project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

Download this press release: PSCC UPEP Workshop

Female Pellissippi State students benefit from attending women engineers conference

Makayla Edwards
Makayla Edwards is one of the Pellissippi State Community College students who attended the recent Society of Women Engineers conference.

Female Pellissippi State Community College students pursuing a career in engineering had the chance to hear from some of the nation’s most prominent women engineers at a recent conference.

“The SWE [Society of Women Engineers] conference was an amazing opportunity,” said Ravenne Hall, one of the students who attended. “The workshops were helpful and thorough. The biggest benefit was to meet all the amazing women who, just like me one day, work in the technical industry. It was very inspiring to see that women really have accomplished amazing feats and are expanding and sharing their great minds with the world.”

The conference took place in Nashville in late October. It highlighted successful female engineers and the realities that women face when they enter traditionally male-dominated fields in science, technology, engineering, and math.

“My experience at the conference was inspirational: just to be around fellow like-minded female engineers who have accomplished so much,” said Makayla Edwards.

“I learned so much, but most important to me was how to negotiate your salary. That’s invaluable information that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life,” said Ines Mena-Solano.

Hall, along with Edwards and Mena-Solano, are recipients of scholarships funded through the Tennessee Community College Space Grant Consortium, part of the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System.

The NASA grant seeks to increase enrollment and retention in STEM fields among women and underrepresented minorities.

“Women only account for about 11 percent of the enrollment in engineering technology programs in Tennessee community colleges,” said Lynn Klett, “even though women make up 61 percent of overall community college enrollment.” Klett manages the NASA grant at Pellissippi State.

“Out-of-classroom experiences like this increase retention rates for our students by encouraging them to build relationships with each other and with their professors,” said Kathleen Scruggs, student completion coach for the NASA grant at Pellissippi State.

In all, nine female Pellissippi State students attended the conference with Scruggs and Klett. The NASA grant covered not only the cost of the conference but also the students’ ongoing membership in the Society of Women Engineers.

Funding provided by the NASA grant comes through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology degree program and concentrations, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more about the Foundation and giving opportunities, call (865) 694-6528 or visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation.

Download this press releaseNASA Scholars Attend Conference

Pellissippi State hosts workshop for college-bound high school students with disabilities

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Pellissippi State Community College will host a workshop for high school students with disabilities interested in pursuing a college degree. Parents are invited to attend as well.

The event is meant to provide information to help students make a seamless transition from high school to community college. The workshop is sponsored by the Universal Pathways to Employment Project at Pellissippi State.

The workshop is 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The session is free, but space is limited. Reserve a spot at www.pstcc.edu/upep.

At the UPEP workshop, students and their parents will learn about the requirements to receive accommodations in college for a disability, how to obtain required testing and paperwork, and other information needed to make a smooth transition to college.

UPEP is funded by a grant from the Office of Disability Employment Policy in the U.S. Department of Labor. UPEP’s goal is to expand Pellissippi State’s capacity to deliver integrated education and career training to students with disabilities.

For more information about UPEP at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/upep or call (865) 694-6596. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Download this press release: UPEP Workshop

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