New College of Applied Technology Smyrna Campus officially opened

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College of Applied Technology
College of Applied Technology Smyrna ribbon cutting

Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora Tydings joined Nissan officials to formally open the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro’s Smyrna Campus and Nissan Training Center on Friday, March 31. The state-of-the-art campus offers high-quality programs to prepare Tennessee students and Nissan employees for careers in advanced manufacturing and other fields.

The 162,000-square-foot center is a public-private partnership of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the State of Tennessee and Nissan to create educational opportunities that are closely aligned to current workforce needs. It operates as an extension of TCAT-Murfreesboro and is jointly occupied by the College of Applied Technology and Nissan.

“This is a true partnership between the State of Tennessee and Nissan,” said Gov. Haslam. “Our College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro needed more space and equipment to serve Tennesseans who want to learn skills for a new or improved career. Nissan needed a new center to train its own employees and those of its suppliers. The new Smyrna facility, which is both a public TCAT open to all and a Nissan Training Center was a perfect solution and is an important milestone in our Drive to 55 – to equip at least 55 percent of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate by 2025.”

The new education and training facility enrolls both public TCAT students and employees from the Nissan Smyrna plant. Through classes in fields such as automotive technology, industrial electrical maintenance, machine tool technology and welding technology, students learn valuable skills that can be directly applied in the workforce, including Nissan’s facilities or with other employers in the region.

“Nissan’s workforce in Smyrna and our other U.S. facilities is our greatest asset,” said John Martin, senior vice president, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing, Nissan North America. “We are constantly looking for new ways to equip current and future employees with the skills and knowledge needed to operate a 21st century manufacturing plant. This collaboration with the State of Tennessee allows us to make an investment in our employees and our community, and secure the continued growth of our company.”

Chancellor Tydings thanked the Governor and Nissan for making the facility possible and said that it will stand as one of the Governor’s legacies. “But more important than the bricks and mortar and steel and glass and equipment of this facility is the impact that it will have on the thousands of Tennesseans – students of all ages and all backgrounds – who will enroll here and learn new skills. This facility will enhance the lives of Tennessee families for decades and decades,” she said.