The Tennessee College of Applied Technology McMinnville will move its Manchester instructional center to a new location in early spring, thanks to the Coffee County Commission’s approval of the TCAT’s use of space in a county-owned building on Volunteer Parkway and a unique partnership with Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation.

The Commission unanimously approved a five-year lease agreement for the TCAT’s use of space at 91 Volunteer Parkway, just off U.S. 41 in the Coffee County Interstate Industrial Park, at its Nov. 9 meeting.

The new lease will enable the public technical college to move its Industrial Maintenance training program there, effective sometime early spring. Enrollment will begin soon for prospective students.

The new larger space allows the TCAT to offer both day and evening Industrial Maintenance classes for the convenience of students from the area interested in earning credentials in a high-demand field. It will also enable the college to consider expanding its career and technical education training program offerings in Manchester. TCAT McMinnville offers 10 career and technical programs for students across the region at its main campus in McMinnville: Automotive Technology, Building Construction Technology, Computer Information Technology, Cosmetology, Industrial Electricity, Industrial Maintenance, Machine Tool Technology, Practical Nursing, and Welding.

The TCAT is also exploring dual enrollment classes in Coffee County for high school students, enabling them to earn college credit while still in high school. Some students are able to earn their career and technical education diplomas and certifications by the time they graduate from high school.

Many students and adults who do not have a college degree or credential may attend tuition-free, thanks to the Tennessee Promise and TCAT Reconnect programs as well as other state and federal financial assistance.

The TCAT’s Manchester instructional center is currently housed in space further down Volunteer Parkway that is owned by VIAM Manufacturing who so generously allowed TCAT to use the facility.

“We are grateful to the members of the Coffee County Commission, Mayor Gary Cordell, Commissioner Bobby Bryan, other county officials, and the people of Coffee County for their generous provision of this facility, rent-free, to our college,” said Dr. Melody Edmonds, President of TCAT McMinnville. “It enables us to remain in Manchester, to continue providing high-quality career and technical training for students from the Coffee County area, to serve the area’s workforce needs, and to explore adding new classes there.

“We are also thankful to VIAM Manufacturing, which has provided rent-free, our current space in Manchester. VIAM is a great industrial partner of our college, employs our graduates, and is a tremendous corporate citizen of our region,” Edmonds said.

TCAT will be sharing space at 91 Volunteer Parkway with Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation, which will remain in the building. This is the first partnership of this type in Tennessee.