Pellissippi State: Y-12 machinists complete classroom portion of apprenticeship program

 

Y-12 Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony
Pictured, in no order, are students in a Pellissippi State Community College and Y-12 National Security Complex apprenticeship program: Rachel Bachorek, Jason Brown, Jeff Bryant, John Bryant, Justin Dupas, Rashaad Gibbs, Brice Graham, Rachel Henley, Ryan Johnson, and Michael Lovelady.

Ten employees of Y-12 National Security Complex have completed the classroom training at Pellissippi State Community College as part of the first class of an apprenticeship program that grows talent from within Y-12.

The students — Rachel Bachorek, Jason Brown, Jeff Bryant, John Bryant, Justin Dupas, Rashaad Gibbs, Brice Graham, Rachel Henley, Ryan Johnson, and Michael Lovelady — received classroom instruction and hands-on training at Pellissippi State on topics related to working in an advanced technological workplace.

The completion ceremony was at Marble Springs, the historic home of Governor John Sevier. The apprentices built and donated a lawnmower and informational kiosk to the site.

“Our apprenticeship program has been a big investment at CNS Y-12,” said Beth Green, senior staff to the director of infrastructure, at the ceremony. “We wanted to make an investment in growing our employees into journeyman-level positions, and I’m proud to see the results in the work on these projects.”

The apprenticeship program is a four-year investment: the apprentices still must complete the remainder of their fourth year of actual on the job learning at Y-12 in order to finish.

 “It’s the end of one phase and the beginning of the next,” said Lovelady. “We’ll finish up this year, and once that is done we’ll be journeyman machinists.”

The program allows students the opportunity to earn substantial credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree, plus the opportunity to finish additional coursework, including 15 credit hours of general education courses required to complete an Engineering Technology degree, with a concentration of the student’s choice.

“You’re giving yourself the best opportunity to grow in the company,” Lovelady said of those who participate.

 “Anything in life is worth working for,” said Bachorek. “I’m setting a grand example for my daughter. Once you have your education, no one can take that away from you.”

The participants also make up the first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices at Y-12. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and affordable.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services Division developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167.

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

 

Download this press release: Y12 Apprentice Program

Adult students invited to apply for ‘last-dollar’ scholarship at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College welcomes adult students to apply for a new, “last-dollar” scholarship to cover mandatory tuition and fees.

The Pellissippi Adult Learner Scholarship is open to adults ages 24 and older. PALS, like Tennessee Promise, is last-dollar, meaning it covers tuition and fees once other financial aid, like grants or other scholarships, has been applied.

“With the implementation of the Tennessee Promise scholarship, students who come to Pellissippi State right out of a Tennessee high school have unprecedented access to affordable higher education,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs. “Pellissippi State wants to provide that kind of affordability to adult students. The creation of this scholarship is a step toward meeting that goal.”

The priority deadline to apply for financial aid is July 15. Individuals can apply for PALS online at www.pstcc.edu/adult. They must first complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

In order to qualify for PALS, applicants must meet the age criteria, must be first-time freshmen and must qualify for in-state tuition. Priority will be given to students with an expected family contribution to their college education of $3,800 or less, though other students are welcome to apply.

Students who receive the scholarship must maintain a 2.0 GPA, must submit a degree plan with an advisor, and must enroll in at least 6 credit hours each fall and spring semester. The scholarship doesn’t cover summer semesters.

For more information about PALS and other adult learner support and programs, visit www.pstcc.edu/adult. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Three-time Pellissippi State student finds promise in new degrees

Brenda Hale

Brenda Hale has probably experienced a heavier dose of work-world reality than most of Pellissippi State Community College’s 10,000-plus students.

The 54-year-old single mother is attending the college for the third time in nearly four decades, with a firsthand understanding of the fickleness of the economy and of employers’ needs for well-rounded, well-educated employees.

“I’ve been downsized and I’ve been laid off, but I know I can come back to Pellissippi State and update my education if I need to,” Hale said. “Pellissippi State reflects real life.”

Hale first graduated from Pellissippi State in 1980, only four years after the institution opened as State Technical Institute at Knoxville. She graduated with a degree in Construction Engineering Technology and was immediately hired by TVA. She went to work on construction at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, but when that phase of work was completed, TVA laid off the construction team.

So Hale returned to Pellissippi State. She earned a second degree, this time in Computer Integrated Drafting and Design, in 1990. She worked for businesses around East Tennessee using that degree for nearly 20 years — until her position was downsized during the recession in 2008.

“I took some time off then to spend with my son, who was young,” Hale said, “and I went back to work part time. But now my son is older, and I’m looking for full-time work again. Since the recession, the CAD [computer-aided drafting] workers that businesses needed before now need to know new programs, like SolidWorks.”

So Hale once again enrolled at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State is familiar and it’s convenient, and I know that the education I receive here is going to be what employers are looking for. They need people who know how to use SolidWorks, so that’s what Pellissippi State is offering now.”

Hale is now in the Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering degree program. She’s also studying additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, while she’s here.

“I love what I do — I love drafting,” Hale said. “I’ve always been interested in houses and building things, and I’ve never been tired of this job. It’s wonderful to see what was manufactured from my drawings. Things like 3D printing are the new iterations of what I do.”

“Technology is pulling everything forward,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering at Pellissippi State. “Continuing education or training on the job is going to be necessary in many fields in the future, as employees find they have to keep up with changing programs and knowledge.”

For more information about Pellissippi State and its many program offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Single mother returns to school at Pellissippi State to study horticulture

April-Ellis

On days with good weather, April Ellis rides her bicycle to school.

Ellis, a Pellissippi State Community College student, doesn’t consider her transportation options to be a limitation, though. She simply rides her bicycle or takes the bus to the Magnolia Avenue Campus, where she’s pursuing an associate’s degree with the plan of going on for a bachelor’s in public horticulture.

A single mother who didn’t complete high school, Ellis enrolled full time at Pellissippi State last spring. Like many nontraditional students, the 29-year-old has to balance returning to school with a multitude of other responsibilities: working a full-time job, fulfilling a work-study commitment and raising a child.

“It’s been so crazy, but you make it work,” she said.

Ellis is taking courses to earn a general studies degree, and once she graduates, she plans to transfer to the University of Tennessee.

“Public horticulture has a wide variety of job opportunities, anything that integrates gardens and people,” she said. “Specifically, I’m interested in horticulture therapy.

“People go into gardens and feel better, and horticulture therapy brings that recreational therapy aspect into gardening. You can take a person who needs to work on an injury and say, ‘Let’s work with your weak hand grip by pruning these roses.’”

Ellis was a stay-at-home mother and housewife during her son’s growing-up years. When she began going through a divorce, she realized she needed and wanted a fulfilling job that could provide for her family.

“At that time, I didn’t even have a GED or any kind of formal education,” she said, “and I wanted to be someone that my son could look up to.”

She first attended classes at the Knox County Career Center, where she earned her GED, and two months later, in spring 2014, she began classes at Pellissippi State.

“Here, I’m not the odd person out,” Ellis said. “A lot of students here are nontraditional, so I’m not alone in those struggles about being in college and having a job and a family.

“And professors understand that, too, that you have homework and a family. Having that kind of nurturing, supportive environment has been crucial. People here have gone above and beyond to make sure I get more than just good grades.”

Pellissippi State supports its population of nontraditional students with a host of services, among them, alternative scheduling; cohort programs, in which students start and finish their coursework as a group; tutoring; workforce development; and career placement. The college even offers nontraditional students credit for previous military and work experience through what’s called “prior learning assessment.”

For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs and resources, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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