TCAT launches new Machine Tool Technology program

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) – The Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton launched its new Machine Tool Technology program Wednesday.

Classes are beginning in the Spring semester after a $650,000 grant from Governor Bill Haslem provided equipment for the program.

Students can complete the work in 16 months, learning basic machine tool operations and getting hands-on experience with a variety of machine tools.

Instructor Scott LaForest says this program will provide skilled workers that are in high demand in this region.

“It’s been a request from a lot of the local industry,” LaForest said. “They are looking for better-trained, better-qualified workers.”

LaForest also said that keeping machine tool jobs close to home is a win for everyone.

“It’s going to benefit the manufacturer, it’s going to benefit the employers,” he said. “They’re going to be getting a higher quality employee.”

He also said that this program could have a significant effect on the regional economy.

“Having better trained, better qualified employees will bring more industry, and bring more business, maybe more manufacturing into this area,” he said.

More information about the Machine Tool Technology program and how to register can be found at

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