Stories @ TCAT

TCAT Elizabethton’s welding program received a boost Oct. 30 when TVA made a donation of $3,500 to purchase additional equipment for welding students.

Flanked by state legislators and field representatives from several congressional offices, Dale Hicks, welding instructor, pictured on the left, and College President Dean Blevins, pictured on the right, hold a replica of the donation presented by Bert Robinson, director of TVA government relations. The funds will be used to procure needed equipment as identified by the welding instructors

According to Robinson, the skilled trades are critical to the operation of the TVA power system, and we recognize the need to provide the highest-quality training programs possible to develop a pipeline of skilled workers who will be ready to enter the workforce.

“TVA has supported TCAT programs at several locations across the state and appreciates the opportunity to partner in the education of the next generation of the skilled workforce,” Robinson said

Also attending the presentation were State Sen. Rusty Crowe, State Rep. John Holsclaw, Lana Moore, Office of U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Bill Darden, Office of U.S. Representative Phil Roe and Ken Markland, Elizabethton Electric Department

The TCAT Welding Program provides students with techniques most commonly used in industry such as Shielded Metal Arc, Gas Tungsten Arc, and Gas Metal Arc. TCAT Elizabethton President Dean Blevins said “The TVA donation helps secure the strong commitment to the community to graduate some of the best welding candidates in the state.” 

According to Blevins the Welding Program’s success lies greatly with experienced instructors Dale Hicks, and his former student, Skills USA Winner and TCAT graduate Adam Vest. The Welding Technology Program takes one year to complete and has a completion and placement rate of over 90%.   

By county of residence, the 2019 welding graduates were from:

--Carter: (15) Billie Arnett, Austin Babb, Chris Baker, Corey Bowers, Josh Estes, Robert Fields, Elijah Fleenor, Austin Gibson,  Austin Hamby, Roy Hill, Jacob Houghton, Nicholas Hughes, Jerry Kramer, Joshua Shurgin, Nathaniel Stevenson.

--Johnson: (1) William Hawkins.

--Sullivan: (3) Jacob Keck, Forrest Swiney, Caleb Tester.

--Unicoi: (10) Kaden Allen, Thomas Bryant, Michael Harris, Brandon Lusk, Owen Nicholson, Javier Perez, Joel Saldana, David Seabock, Bryant Strother, Dalton Wheeler.

--Washington: (6) Max Burgner, Tyler Carter, Mathew English, Patrick Fitzgerald, Alexis Garland, Peyton Howren.


For additional information, contact TCAT Elizabethton at 423-543-0070 or visit