Anderson County Center for Higher Education opens


The Anderson County Center for Higher Education opened on Frank L. Diggs Drive in Clinton. (Photo by Roane State Community College)

By Bob Fowler, editor of Roane State

The new Anderson County Center for Higher Education “is an example of what should happen” to spur workforce development, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee told a large crowd on Friday December 10.

Gesturing to the students in the back who will be taking classes at the center starting in January, Lee thanked them for “going down the path you are pursuing.”

“The private sector is the engine of what we do here,” Lee told attendees crammed into the spacious classroom where diesel technology will soon be taught.

In the planning and construction phase for years, the center will soon be offering several courses at Roane State Community College and Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville.

It is a state-of-the-art 48,000 square foot facility where over 200 students will be enrolled. It cost $ 11 million, and SL Tennessee, a nearby auto parts maker, donated seven acres for the center, located on Frank L. Diggs Drive in the Clinton / I-75 Industrial Park.

“When we all work together, we can accomplish a lot in a short period of time,” SL Tennessee manager Scott Laska said.

Roane State President Chris Whaley on the podium addresses the large crowd at the dedication ceremonies of the Anderson County Center for Higher Education in Clinton on Friday, December 10, 2021. Students from Roane State and Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville will attend classes there. (Photo by Roane State Community College)

Roane State’s mechatronics classes, now in a former National Guard armory in Clinton, as well as the community college’s injection molding and robotics classes, will now be located at the center.

The TCAT courses, which had been hosted for six years in a former Andersonville Highway grocery store, will also be held in the new center. These programs will include welding, diesel electrical equipment technology, automotive technology, industrial maintenance and construction trades.

With the center, “We will open up opportunities for the people of our county and region,” said Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank. She called the installation “a victory for people who will see their lives changed, their horizons broadened and their futures brighter.”

Flora Tydings, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, praised the “excellent partnership between TCAT and the community college”.

“The students here are going to have a bright future,” she predicted.

Students attending classes at the new center listened to the remarks. “It’s a beautiful facility,” said Trevor Martin, who had studied industrial maintenance at the TCAT site as part of the history of the remodeled grocery store. “It’s much better than the old installation. They really wanted the best for us.

Scott Loyd, a high school student now taking welding lessons at the Anderson County Vocational Center, also praised the new facility. “It’s a good school, it looks like,” he said. “I feel like I’ll get somewhere if I go here.”

“I can’t wait to have classes here in January. “

For more information on the new Anderson County Center for Higher Education, visit roanestate.edu/anderson.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

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