A long-awaited truck driving school on the campus of Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Phipps Bend, which has been scheduled since before the start of the pandemic, could start offering classes as early as January.
The truck driving school offered at Phipps Bend has been eagerly awaited and is expected to attract a large number of potential students who are needed to meet the current high demand for truck drivers.
Phipps Bend TCAT campus coordinator Charles Johnson told the Hawkins County Industrial Development Board last week that plans for the truck driving school had been derailed by COVID-19.
During the IDB meeting on November 18, Johnson recounted his conversation with Morristown TCAT Chairman Jerry Young, who said the truck driving school was back on track.
“I feel like we would already have this without COVID, which we could say about a lot of things,” Johnson said. “But that’s what he told me. He said we have to have a partner to offset the cost. Now he identified a partner, and they identified us. He never even told me. the name of the company. Maybe he doesn’t want it out. I don’t know. “
Johnson added, “He said their demand is so high that they haven’t been able to schedule a visit to our campus yet. I guess that meant the demand within the trucking company that was going to come here.
“Start this in our spring term”
Young has also indicated in meetings that they plan to start the truck driving course at Phipps Bend in January, Johnson added.
“The student manuals and the publications we have published have been updated to include driving trucks,” Johnson told the IDB. “No one else in this system offers truck driving. It must be us. The class actually passes the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) in December for approval. He (Young) gave me a preliminary date to start this during our spring term in January.
Johnson added: “We’re going to keep our fingers crossed. I have inquiries almost every week about this. It’s a course that we can get people to go through pretty quickly if we start it.
Cosmetology classes start next summer
Johnson told the IDB that offers to renovate classrooms have been released and equipment has been ordered to offer cosmetology courses at the Phipps Bend TCAT starting in the summer of 2022.
He noted that the room where the classes will be held had never had plumbing before, and that there will also be necessary electrical upgrades for the equipment.
Electrician and plumbing bids for the project have been posted. Johnson said the only potential problem with the program would be a delay in the arrival of equipment due to supply line issues.
But that won’t delay the start of the program, and classes could start at Volunteer High School if the facility isn’t ready.
“The course has been created and I have people who are already interested in applying for this course,” Johnson said.
Johnson added, “I want every classroom that we can have inside this building, on these grounds – I want it there. This is what my goal is pretty much every day, to achieve it.