Tennessee Tech University, Volkswagen Chattanooga and Chattanooga State Community College have partnered to provide education, training and job placement efforts that will align with the unique needs of Volkswagen, their tier-one parts providers and the growing manufacturing industry in the state.
A workforce development system will provide a seamless articulation of education and training through Chattanooga State and Tennessee Tech University for students to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology.
Representatives from the Volkswagen Academy, Chattanooga State’s engineering technology division and TTU’s industrial technology department crafted an agreement that will support long-term sustainability in educating a qualified and skilled workforce critical for the emergence of the automotive industry and the manufacturing workforce needs of the greater Chattanooga economic region.
“We saw this as a great opportunity to demonstrate how higher education can be innovative and responsive to the needs of students and industry,” said TTU President Bob Bell. “We are excited about the collaboration with Volkswagen and Chattanooga State because it allows us all to align our focus with the state’s goals to increase higher education opportunities for students and expand support of workforce development.”
With training from the Volkswagen Academy, students who hold an A.A.S. degree in engineering technology from Chattanooga State can seamlessly transfer to a bachelor’s degree program from Tennessee Tech University.
“We are very pleased that Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga State are working together to create this much-needed degree program and that classes will be held in our Volkswagen Academy,” said Hans-Herbert Jagla, EVP of Human Resources for Volkswagen Chattanooga.
“We believe in offering education to our youth and in creating opportunities for growth. I believe that this program will set a milestone to help ensure the future of our region and Volkswagen,” Jagla said.
According to the Chattanooga State President Jim Catanzaro, “This is a natural extension of our training partnership with Volkswagen Chattanooga. Volkswagen and supplier employees as well as people from businesses in the area will be able to move up professionally based on two very targeted degrees, which blend business, engineering and technology.”
The skills and competencies essential to the Volkswagen workforce mandate a systematic re-evaluation of the curricula in engineering, manufacturing and industrial technology at both Chattanooga State and TTU.
Employees of Volkswagen Chattanooga will be among the first students accepted into the program; classes are set to begin Sept. 6 as part of the flex schedule. Flex schedule classes, also known as late start classes, begin two to three weeks after the traditional beginning of the semester in August.
The new initiative becomes official with a 2+2 agreement between Chattanooga State and Tennessee Tech University for a bachelor of science in industrial technology.
In a separate agreement, Chattanooga State students will also find an efficient transfer process to TTU and academic support from advisers at both schools as a result of a dual admissions program now in place.
For further details about the program call Chattanooga State at (423) 697-4434 or log on to www.chattanoogastate.edu/engineering. To contact Tennessee Tech University call (931) 372-3238 or (931) 473-8022, or visit the website at www.tntech.edu/mit.