Grant used to train workers, link companies


A regional coalition has secured $2.39 million to help local companies leverage advanced manufacturing techniques and train employees to use them.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its Manufacturing Demonstration Facility are among partners receiving the grant to support an Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Center of East Tennessee. Other coalition members include the University of Tennessee's Center for Industrial Services and Pellissippi State Community College.

The grant was included in $20 million in awards made last October and divided among 10 initiatives, all public-private partnerships aimed at helping revitalize American manufacturing.

Tech 20/20, the grant's administrator, is also launching a Council for Additive Manufacturing, which will bring together companies throughout the value chain of additive manufacturing, including equipment manufacturers, materials suppliers and parts manufacturers.

Other results the coalition expects to achieve over the grant's three-year term include:

  • Six new small businesses in advanced manufacturing.
  • 15 new manufacturing projects, with either co-located either at MDF or Tech 20/20's incubator.
  • 25 members of a regional consortium on advanced manufacturing.
  • 30 companies going through a boot camp on advanced manufacturing.
  • 78 new jobs.
  • 97 small and medium-sized enterprises trained by the UT Center for Industrial Services.
  • 109 students enrolled in a new college engineering technology program at Pellissippi State, and 60 of those students employed in the region upon graduation.

The partners also plan to support high school FIRST Robotics Competitions and collegiate prototype competitions.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel


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