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Pellissippi State commits to recruiting more students to advanced manufacturing

Graphic for the SME Manufacturing Imperative Workforce Pipeline ChallengePellissippi State Community College kicked off a three-year challenge Wednesday to attract and recruit 1,000 students into advanced manufacturing and connect them with industry partners. 

More than 30 representatives from local manufacturing companies, K-12 school systems, chambers of commerce and the college were on hand to learn more about the SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) Manufacturing Imperative – Workforce Pipeline Challenge.  

Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. said the partnership aligns with the college’s roots as a technical institute. 

“We are committed to building the next generation of manufacturing professionals,” Wise said. “The sustainability of the industry depends on the development of the talent pipeline.” 

The alliance between Pellissippi State and SME is designed to build awareness of careers in manufacturing and accelerate the education and skill development needed to place Tennessee students in jobs making family-sustaining wages. 

The challenge comes as the manufacturing industry faces an estimated 2.7 million unfilled jobs by 2030. Together with SME, Pellissippi State will work to develop strategies that will strengthen the manufacturing workforce in East Tennessee. 

Pellissippi State is one of only 25 schools in the country invited to participate in the challenge with each college tasked with attracting 1,000 students into manufacturing jobs over the next three years. 

For more information on Pellissippi State’s partnership with SME and the Workforce Pipeline Challenge, or to learn more about opportunities to engage with and support the program, contact Patty Weaver, vice president of external affairs for Pellissippi State, at