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A delegation from Grundy County met with Tennessee Workplace Development and Bridgestone officials on Monday, October 7, in LaVergne, Tennessee at the Bridgestone facility hosted by Keith Hamilton to discuss the possibility of implementing an educational program called Mechatronics. Attending from Grundy County was Mayor Lonnie Cleek, Grundy County Director of Schools Jody Hargis, Vocational Supervisor Gina Sons and District One County Commissioner Wayne Harris. Representatives from the Tennessee Workplace Development included John William Greeter, Stephen Dunn, and Gary Morgan.
Mechatronics is a blend of mechanical skills and electronic training that is in high demand in today’s work environment. High school graduates with Mechatronics training can start a career program in a wide spectrum including robotics, aerospace, chemical, defense and automotive manufacturing where complex software plays a major role, as well as in business that requires extensive computer support, such as banking and commerce. Major companies looking for this type of worker, include Coke A Cola, Bridgestone, Disney, Universal Studio, Nissan, and Volkswagen, just to name a few.
Bridgestone is the only company in the United States that offers all three levels in the Mechatronics program for high school students and they are seeing a one hundred percent job placement after completion.
The program starts in the high school level and can extends on to junior college as well as four a year college level.
There is job placement available starting with the completion of level one upon graduation from high school. Bridgestone also has a program in conjunction with the Tennessee Workforce group to train teachers and professors in order to certify them as Mechatronics teachers through the University of Berlin.
Manufacturing has evolved into a highly skilled workplace and the need for highly skilled workers is on the increase. Our county officials and school officials are always seeking new and improved ways to teach and raise our students to a higher level so they may be prepared to enter today’s highly skilled work environment.
Meeting to discuss the possibility of implementing an educational program called Mechatronics included (l to r): Gary Morgan and Stephen Dunn of Tennessee Workplace Development; Vocational Supervisor Gina Sons, John William Greeter of Tennessee Workplace Development, District One Grundy County Commissioner Wayne Harris, Grundy Mayor Lonnie Cleek, Director of Schools Jody Hargis, and Keith Hamilton.