Industrial Technology Program Honored With Innovation Award

Submitted by: 
Jackson State Community College

Jackson State was the recipient of The Southwest Tennessee Development District's (SWTDD) Innovation Award at the organization's annual board meeting on Monday, September 29. Every year, SWTDD recognizes a project within the district that has had a significant impact on the community, demonstrates a cost savings or cost effectiveness for the community, incorporates a creative use of existing resources and positions the community for a positive long-term impact.

The Advanced Maintenance Technician (AMT) program, just launched by JSCC, was recognized by SWTDD as "...making a big dent in the gap between employee skills and employer needs."

The AMT program is a unique project that connects students with manufactures through a work study cooperative. Jackson State Community College has created a consortium with 17 area manufacturing companies. These corporations allow students to take classes and work for them at the same time. This initiative was a grassroots effort that was spearheaded on the industrial side by Jason Bates at TOYOTA Bodine. Jackson State embraced this effort and is making great strides to fulfill the needs for a qualified workforce in West Tennessee.

SWTDD recognized the goal of this program as pure and simple. It is to create a pipeline of highly skilled talent in the industrial maintenance field. The benefits of the program are:

  • Students benefit from building a career with highly-relevant work experience

  • Manufacturers benefit through direct input and first-hand experience with today's students in the program

  • Our communities, region and State benefit in the economic development realm by tangibly showcasing the type of labor pool and building a specialized, trained employee base that is available to help manufacturers succeed in West Tennessee

Dr. Bruce Blanding, president of JSCC, accepted the award on behalf of the college. Other JSCC representatives in attendance were Dr. Larry Bailey, VP of Academic Affairs, Catherine Roberts, Career Program Retention Specialist, and Shaw Hinson, AMT student. Jason Bates of TOYOTA Bodine was also in attendance on behalf of JSCC.