Stories @ TCAT

Soon it will be easier to employ trained personnel to meet the robust demand for construction workers in Kingsport. Last Thursday, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved a new construction technology program for TCAT Elizabethton. 

TCAT President Dean Blevins said the training program will be housed in the former Kingsport Area Transit System (KATS) garage building in downtown Kingsport.  

“The college was contacted by Kingsport representatives from the Board of Mayor and Alderman because of the high demand for skilled laborers needed for residential, commercial and industrial building construction. There is also a robust construction market in Kingsport and the surrounding area,” Blevins said.  

Regent Miles Burdine, CEO and president of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, said it is a case of supply and demand.   

‘I often hear from local construction trade businesses including but not limited to contractors, home builders, electrical, roofing, plumbing and HVAC businesses that they are in desperate need of trained employees.  TCAT Elizabethton has stepped forward to provide the needed training in downtown Kingsport, but the effort has also been one of collaboration, cooperation and coordination between Northeast State Community College (NESCC), the city of Kingsport, the Tennessee Board of Regents, Kingsport City Schools, the Kingsport Chamber and many local businesses who have offered advice and guidance on their needs,” Burdine said.   

Local high school students and adults will be able to learn a skill that will provide an opportunity to enter the workforce and earn a good wage and/or continue seeking a degree and/or an apprenticeship from NESCC and, of course, we always encourage furthering their education at local four-year institutions, Burdine said.  

Others supported the effort. 

Alderman James Phillips: “As an elected official in Kingsport and a General Contractor I believe we have an unbelievable opportunity to create something special here with TCAT Elizabethton, Northeast State Community College and our other partners in the construction field. Citizens in this region should be very excited about this program because it’s gives us a wonderful option to train our youth to be job ready when they graduate and in an area that continues to grow and pay good wages.”  

Pat Breeding, president of GRC Construction:  “This announcement is exciting news for the construction business in Kingsport. The construction market is very strong right now in Kingsport and the demand for trained and skilled employees has never been higher. The collaborative effort to put a training facility in downtown Kingsport will make a big difference in our ability to hire a prepared construction workforce.  We are most appreciative to all the partners who made this happen.” 

Blevins said TCAT Elizabethton plans to offer the training program beginning in Fall 2021 trimester.  A program outline is attached. For additional information, contact Blevins at 423-543-0070, Ext. 1002