Mechatronics: Skilled Industrial Job Training
|Mechatronics students and instructors at the Bridgestone mechatronics lab open house in LaVergne: from left, Bryan Powell, instructor Khalid Tantawi, Jamie Thompson, instructor Shane Buchanan, Terrance Payne, director Fred Rascoe, Anastacio Hernandez, Adam Boyce, Joseph Gasser, Tyler Barton, and Jody Griffin.|
There are literally thousands of jobs available in the manufacturing and industrial sectors in Tennessee and hundreds of thousands across the United States. This is also a global problem, because there are not enough people with the proper skill sets to fill the positions. The current situation will only get worse due to the fact these skill sets are not currently taught within the traditional school system and also natural forces such as demographics (retirements). This is an excellent career opportunity for everyone.
Rutherford County is strongly positioned for tremendous growth and economic development in this area. We have a great K-12 education system, a Tennessee Technology Center (TTC) that not nearly enough people know about or utilize, a two-year community college (Motlow State), and of course the largest undergraduate university in the state, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). This has given us the foundation required to develop a truly world-class program.
Parents must become engaged and understand what is available for their children as well as discuss critical issues with them such as benefits, taxes, income, and available opportunities. We need to get the word out that these are good jobs. Traditional thinking is that manufacturing and industrial jobs are dirty, low-paying, low-skilled jobs, and nothing is further from the truth. These great jobs require the mechatronics discipline knowledge base plus soft skills such as promptness, good communication skills, a strong work ethic, and the ability to work within a team environment.
Together we are all developing an "interstate" starting potentially as early as fourth grade for students to enter STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, math) education and eventually pick this mechatronics program as a career path in order to graduate from high school with specific career skills. They can then continue by going to TTC, Motlow State, or even eventually MTSU with the ability to exit the interstate at any time or drive until the end and have a globally recognized four-year engineering degree.
For more information, contact one of the educational providers listed or Sandy Ponder, Vice President, Workforce Development, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mechatronics combines the industrial fields of electronics, fluid power (hydraulic and pneumatic), mechanics, and computer processing (PLC and microprocessors).
Businesses, community resources, legislators, and educators are working together in Tennessee and in Rutherford County.
We are developing an "interstate" starting potentially as early as fourth grade for students to enter STEM-based education and eventually pick this mechatronics program as a career path in order to graduate from high school with specific career skills.