The Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Newbern (Bells, Tennessee campus) graduated its first student from the Injection Molding/Robotics Program.
Matthew Smith graduated with two diplomas: one as a Master Plastic Engineering Technician and one as a Master Robotic Engineering Technician. Mr. Smith began the program in July 2014 and finished with both diplomas while working part-time at U. S. Farathane, in Jackson, Tennessee. His persistence and work ethic are to be commended. TCAT-Newbern is going to miss his leadership in the classroom; U. S. Farathane has gained a trustworthy, well-trained employee.
In late 2013, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Newbern was awarded a $400,000 grant as part of a $5 million dollar appropriation to help technical colleges start new programs and purchase equipment. Another $200,000 grant was award by the Delta Regional Authority and a new Engel Injection Molding machine was added to complete the equipment needs. After careful consideration about where to house the program, Crockett County offered a portion of the Crockett County Higher Education Building free of rent. The high bay area was perfect for the only plastic injection molding and robotics program in West Tennessee. Equipment was ordered, an instructor was hired, and training began in July 2014.