TBR honors Blount County Economic Development Board for philanthropy

Fred Lawson accepts matted and framed TBR Chancellor's Award
Blount County Economic Development Board Chairman Fred Lawson, center, accepts the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy from Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr. and Regent Danni Varlan on Thursday.

The Blount County Economic Development Board was honored Thursday with the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

The board was nominated by Pellissippi State Community College for its early pledge of $1 million on behalf of Blount County and the cities of Alcoa and Maryville to support the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center that will be built on Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus.

“The Economic Development Board was founded as the Blount County Industrial Development Board more than 50 years ago with the vision to attract good jobs so that young people wouldn’t have to leave Blount County,” said Regent Danni Varlan before presenting the award to Economic Development Board Chairman Fred Lawson at Blount Partnership. “With shared space for high school dual enrollment, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Pellissippi State and incumbent worker training, the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center will ensure that students are ready to enter the workforce with great local employers such as Arconic, Blount Memorial Hospital, DENSO and Clayton Homes.”

The $16.5 million Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center is being funded by a public-private partnership: $5.5 million raised by the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation, $5.7 million from TCAT Knoxville capacity expansion funds and $5.3 million from the state.

“This is a different path than most of our projects take,” noted Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “State building projects usually wait on a list for about 18 years. The conversations we’ve had with business and industry leaders and (Blount Partnership CEO and President) Bryan Daniels indicated that, with the job growth in Blount County, we were pretty sure we didn’t have 18 years to wait.”

Varlan agreed.

“Blount County is just rocking it,” she said. “Since 2012, Blount County has added 6,000 new jobs and $2.9 billion in capital investment.”

In addition to receiving the Chancellor’s Award, the Economic Development Board got a sneak peek at plans for the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center on Thursday. The plans by BarberMcMurry Architects have not been shared publicly because they will not go to the state building commission for approval until October, Wise explained.

“The principal layout is large open teaching spaces, similar to our MegaLab at the Strawberry Plains Campus, because we wanted to build in flexibility,” Wise said. “When students walk out to train, they get the feeling they are walking out onto the floor at one of our industry partners. That flexibility is important because my guess is that advanced manufacturing won’t be done the same way 10 years from now.”

Varlan praised the flexibility reflected in the plans and connected that flexibility with how higher education has changed over the years.

“It’s very important to us at TBR to make sure our workforce is competitive,” she said. “The whole idea of our community and technical colleges is to be open and nimble. We don’t know what’s coming down the road, but we have to be ready to teach it. Now we ask communities, ‘What do you need?’ The whole point is that our students can get out of school and get a job.”

Blount County Economic Development Board with Chancellor's Award
Several members of the Blount County Economic Development Board were on hand at the Blount Partnership Thursday for the presentation of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. From left are Bob Booker of DENSO, Monica Gawet of Tennessee Marble, Joe Dawson, Regent Danni Varlan, Blount County Economic Development Board Chairman Fred Lawson, Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., Greg Wilson of First Tennessee Bank and Matthew Murray of the University of Tennessee.

The 51,000-square-foot Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center will include proposed Pellissippi State programming for Computer Information Technology, Culinary Arts and Engineering Technology concentrations such as Automated Industrial Systems and Industrial Maintenance.

The building also will house a Corporate Training Center that will be available to businesses who want to train their workers off site, for training Business and Community Services provides to local employers and to the community for events.

“It can be divided into three areas for smaller groups, or we can open it up with theatre seating for 234 or round tables for banquets accommodating around 210,” noted Teri Brahams, Pellissippi State’s executive director for Economic and Workforce Development.

TCAT’s portion of the building is slated to include programming for Industrial Electrical Maintenance, Machine Tool Technology, Pipe Fitting and Welding to start, Wise said, while dual enrollment opportunities with Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County schools will continue to grow.

“We’ve done a lot and had a lot of conversations about this, and one of the things that’s exciting is now it’s time to execute that planning and have something really special here in Blount County,” Wise said. “It’s going to be a great facility to teach in, to learn in and to work in.”

Pellissippi State plans to break ground on the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center this winter and fully occupy the building by fall 2021.

“We wouldn’t be here without the support of the people in this room,” Wise said.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.

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Take advantage of health and wellness Lifelong Learning classes this fall

Pellissippi State Community College’s fall Lifelong Learning class schedule includes several health and wellness noncredit courses.

Wanda Malhotra
Wanda Malhotra

Students can begin achieving a healthy lifestyle with two classes taught by certified and award-winning health and wellness coach Wanda Malhotra. Say Goodbye to Diets begins Sept. 25 and introduces the bio-individuality concept and practices to create a sustainable, long-lasting diet and healthy lifestyle. Functional Foods and Clean Eating starts Nov. 5 and dives into the world of food. It will help students gain a better understanding of immediate strategies to use to add healthy foods in their diet and get the most out of food they already buy. With more than 24 years of experience, Malhotra is the founder of Root Journey and specializes in weight loss, stress and anxiety management, sleep improvement and nutrition.

For those looking for better fitness, Ballroom Dancing Level I and Level II classes are great for having fun while staying fit. These returning class favorites begin Sept. 23 and 24, and are open to both individual registrants and couples.

Joy Gaertner
Joy Gaertner

Focusing on mental and emotional wellness, new instructor Joy Gaertner is teaching a grief recovery workshop, Unstuck: Making Peace with Your Past, beginning Sept. 16. Using the Grief Recovery Method, students in the class will learn skills to help cope with and reduce grief, learn how to confront unhelpful patterns and attitudes and learn how to practice recovery behaviors. The class is designed for anyone struggling to cope with pain caused by a death, divorce or end of a relationship; a change in environment such as moving; financial situations; a loss of health; or any experience that has caused grief.

Gaertner is also teaching How to Not End Up with a Jerk/Jerkette in November, which focuses on developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Gaertner is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist with the Grief Recovery Institute and is the founder of Walking With Joy. She is actively involved in the Knoxville community and has used her own experiences through divorce and cancer to help others.

To view the complete fall schedule and register for a class visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs. For more information about Lifelong Learning classes, contact the Business and Community Services office at 865.539.7167 or bcs@pstcc.edu.

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Pellissippi State offers aviation training for teens this fall

Group of Tuskeegee NEXT and Pellissippi State officials who announced partnership on Monday, July 22, at Magnolia Avenue Campus
On hand at Pellissippi State to announce a new aviation training program Monday were, from left, Tuskegee NEXT Executive Director Sanura Young, Pellissippi State Economic and Workforce Development Executive Director Teri Brahams, Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., Tuskegee NEXT founder and chairman Stephen Davis, Magnolia Avenue Campus Dean Rosalyn Tillman and Pellissippi State Executive Director of Equity and Compliance Annazette Houston.

Teenagers and young adults who want to get a jumpstart on a pilot’s license have the opportunity this fall through a new class at Pellissippi State Community College.

Pellissippi State has partnered with Tuskegee NEXT to offer a 13-week introductory aviation training for students ages 16-20, Pellissippi State announced in a kickoff breakfast Monday.

Classes will meet on Tuesday nights on Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, with one mandatory Saturday field trip. Professionals from the aviation industry will mentor students in the program, who will use a flight simulator to “fly.”

“It’s no secret that the aviation industry is facing a shortage of airline pilots, but that isn’t the only aviation career grappling with a labor shortage,” said Teri Brahams, executive director for Economic and Workforce Development for Pellissippi State. “Aircraft mechanics and flight simulator technicians are also in high demand. This course will introduce students to the opportunities available and provide options for training to pursue these careers.”

There is a global need of 754,000 new aircraft maintenance technicians and 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s 2018 Pilot and Technical Outlook projections.

The nonprofit Tuskegee NEXT saw that need and created programs to help fill that void by offering aviation outreach programs to at-risk youth through Flight Training, Life Skills and Educational Assistance. The program is named in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the United States’ first black military airmen.

“As a historian, I am excited about the connection this program has with the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “As a community college president, I am pleased with the opportunities this program creates for young people in our community.”

Students who participate in the Introduction to Aviation class at Pellissippi State will gain the basic knowledge needed to sit for the Federal Aviation Administration private pilot written exam. Those who successfully complete the course and pass the written exam will be eligible to apply to the Tuskegee NEXT Cadet program in Chicago, which will run from mid-June to mid-August 2020.

Black and white photos of Tuskegee airmen and a certificate of proficiency for one of them, dated 1945
The Tuskegee NEXT program, which provides aviation outreach program to at-risk youth, is named for the Tuskegee Airmen, the United States’ first black military airmen.

“Students are often unaware of the many career possibilities available to them,” said Dean Rosalyn Tillman of Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus. “Exposure to this industry as an option may create interest for some that was never before imagined.”

There are aviation careers available right here in East Tennessee, Brahams noted.

“Local employers like Cirrus Aircraft, the Air National Guard, Pilot Flying J, Jet Aviation, Endeavor Air, STS Technical Services, Standard Aero and many others currently have openings and expect future openings for the next 10 years or more,” she said.

Students must be at least 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, hold a minimum grade point average of 2.75 and have no criminal record. Preference will be given to minority and female students.

For more information or to request an application, contact Pellissippi State Business and Community Services at 865-539-7167 or bcs@pstcc.edu.

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Entrepreneurs can pitch to celebrity investor May 2 at Pellissippi State

Marc Portney
Celebrity investor Marc Portney will be sharing his expertise on entrepreneurship and hearing local pitches at Pellissippi State on May 2. Photo credit: http://marcportney.com/

Celebrity investor Marc Portney will be at Pellissippi State Community College on May 2, sharing his insights on entrepreneurship and ready to hear pitches from those who would like a chance to make a deal with him.

“Pitch Marc Portney” will be held 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, in the Goins Building Auditorium on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The event is sponsored by Globalsource Infrastructure Partners, Tennessee Inventors Association and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is hosted in Knoxville by Pellissippi State.

Those planning to attend, whether or not they are planning to pitch, should complete a brief registration form here.

Portney is an American entrepreneur, investor and business adviser who has appeared on the television series “All-American Makers” on the Science Channel and “American Dreams” on the Home Shopping Network.

“Last year Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. joined over 300 community college presidents from across the country in taking the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship pledge,” said Bruce Hayes, director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center. “The Tennessee Small Business Development Center, a division of Pellissippi State Community College, is committed to the advancement of entrepreneurship in our community. We are very fortunate to have developed a relationship with Marc Portney from the Science Channel.”

Portney will begin by taking audience questions, after which select entrepreneurs will have up to 5 minutes to pitch their ideas to Portney. Event organizers stress that this is not a shark-tank situation; there is no need to discuss capital, as Portney can offer more than capital due to his expertise in manufacturing, sales and marketing.

The event will end with a relaxed night of networking with Portney and other attendees, which helps entrepreneurs make connections that can lead to partnerships and increased business.

For more information about “Pitch Marc Portney,” including the evening’s itinerary and questions about what to expect if you are pitching an idea, visit https://www.globalsourceip.com/events/pitch-marc-portney-knoxville-tn-may-2-2019.

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Pellissippi State offers free lifelong learning classes on Second Saturdays

What do opening a restaurant, playing the mandolin and using a 3-D printer have in common?

These are among the skills you can learn in just one day at Pellissippi State Community College’s Second Saturday Lifelong Learning at Magnolia.

On second Saturdays this spring, Pellissippi State Business and Community Services will offer a selection of popular lifelong learning classes at the college’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave., as part of Pellissippi State’s Weekend College.

All of the March classes offered are free, but you must register in advance to secure your space.

“These noncredit classes provide a mix of small business seminars, hobby classes and professional development courses,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Business and Community Services. “We’re excited to offer these classes on weekends for those who can’t attend during the week.”

Second Saturday classes scheduled for March 9 include:

  • Thinking of Opening a Restaurant?: Learn the proper steps for setting up the business entity, working through regulations, comparing and selecting vendors, conducting a grand opening and hiring the right staff. 9-11 a.m. Free.
  • Introduction to 3-D Printing: Gain knowledge of the basics of 3-D printing and how you can start using this process to make your own custom creations. 9-11 a.m. Free.
  • Managing Change: Understand how to build the need for change, overcome concerns of those resistant to change, recognize why some organizations resist change and take actions during change to ensure a positive outcome. 9-11 a.m. Free.
  • Quick Pickin’ Mandolin for the Beginner: Watch as WDVX Blue Plate Special musician Anna Uptain showcases an easy beginner method for mandolin that requires no musical experience or note-reading. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free.

Lifelong learning classes are noncredit continuing education courses. Course registration is required either online at www.pstcc.edu/bcs or by calling 865-539-7167.

To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

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Pellissippi State offers lifelong learning classes on Second Saturdays

Excel, YouTube and managing change in the workforce are among the skills you can learn in just one Saturday at Pellissippi State Community College’s Weekend College in downtown Knoxville.

Every second Saturday throughout the fall, Pellissippi State Business and Community Services offers a selection of popular lifelong learning classes at the college’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Several of the classes are free, but you must register in advance.

“These noncredit classes provide a mix of small business seminars, hobby classes and professional development courses,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Business and Community Services. “We’re excited to offer these classes on weekends for those who can’t attend during the week.”

Second Saturday classes scheduled for Oct. 13:

  • Excel Workshop: Build on what you already know about Excel to set up a custom Excel environment. 9 a.m.-noon. $29.
  • Managing Change in the Workforce: Learn ways to deal with change productively, whether you are managing a team or learning personal skills for your own employment. 9 a.m.-noon. Free.
  • YouTube – Your Visual Voice: Marketing is constantly changing, from the shift from print media to web-based solutions, including more video content and less print. Learn to understand video content, creation, production and how to determine your video’s effectiveness. 9 a.m.-noon. Free.

Lifelong learning classes are noncredit continuing education courses. Course registration is required either online at www.pstcc.edu/bcs or by calling 865-539-7167.

To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State offers Influential Leadership series

Learn to give effective presentations, lead teams, delegate job duties and run meetings that accomplish goals with Pellissippi State Community College’s non-credit Influential Leadership series.

The classes are $99 each and scheduled for five Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. All classes will be held at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

  • Learning Your Leadership Style on Sept. 6 – Explore your leadership style and understand how to adapt it for any situation.
  • Presentation 101: Keep the Room Awake on Sept. 13 – Ace your next presentation as you practice in front of a group and receive professional feedback.
  • Meetings 101: Herding Cats Effectively on Sept. 20 – Learn how to make your meetings shorter, more impactful and how to make everyone feel heard.
  • Delegation 101: Let It Go on Sept. 27 – Understand the four Ws of delegation and how to communicate exactly what you need.
  • Leading a Team on Oct. 4 – Learn the stages of team development, characteristics of high-performing teams and reward and recognition techniques.

To sign up for any classes in the Influential Leadership series or to learn more about lifelong learning and non-credit courses at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call 865-539-7167.

To request accommodations for a disability for one of these classes, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State expands Weekend College offerings to continuing education classes

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to second Saturdays at Weekend College in downtown Knoxville.

Every second Saturday throughout the fall, Pellissippi State Business and Community Services will offer a selection of popular lifelong learning classes at the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Several of the classes are free.

“These noncredit classes provide a mix of small business seminars, hobby classes and professional development courses,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Business and Community Services. “We’re excited to offer these classes on weekends for those who can’t attend during the week.”

Second Saturday classes at the Magnolia Avenue Campus include:

  • Hand Lettering by Urban Farm Girl Design: 9-11 a.m. Sept. 8, $60
  • Handmade Baskets: 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 8, free
  • Excel Workshop: 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 8, $29
  • Bluegrass Jam for Strings: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 8, free
  • Beekeeping Basics: 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 13, free
  • YouTube – Your Visual Voice: 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 13, free
  • Managing Change in the Workforce: 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 13, free
  • Personal Cybersecurity: 9-11:30 a.m. Nov. 10, free
  • Restaurant Business Basics: 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 10, free
  • Employee Motivation: 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 10, free

Lifelong learning classes are non-credit continuing education courses. Course registration is required either online at www.pstcc.edu/bcs or by calling 865-539-7167.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.
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Create Colorful Spring Eggs at Pellissippi State

pysansky eggs

Pellissippi State offers unique egg classes to decorate your home for spring. Learn the ancient batik dye process of creating pysanky, eggs dyed using a Ukrainian wax-resist method, in non-credit courses this spring.

Learn Pysanky: Ukrainian Egg Dyeing Workshop will be held from 5-9 p.m., Thursday, April 19. Cost is $49 plus a $15 materials fee. Design and wax an egg you’ll take home that evening.

Pysanky Jewelry: Designing Batik Eggshell Jewelry will be held from 6:15-8:15 p.m., Mondays, April 16-30. Cost is $65 plus a $65 materials fee. Using the same classic Ukrainian batik art, make earrings and matching pendant or brooch from goose eggshells.

For more information about lifelong learning and non-credit courses at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call 865-539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability for one of these classes, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State pledges to expand entrepreneurship and economic growth

Group of males holding a signed entrepreneurship document
(L-R) Terrance Carter, Knoxville Area Urban League; Jim Biggs, Knoxville Entrepreneur Center; Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State; Cliff Claudill, Greater Score of Knoxville; Bruce Hayes, TSBDC; and Doug Minter, Knoxville Chamber, celebrate signing the entrepreneurship pledge.

 

Pellissippi State Community College has joined community colleges across the country this week in signing a formal pledge to increase its focus on entrepreneurship and its economic impact on the community.

The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship spearheaded the nationwide pledge. NACCE is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs and business development professionals focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges.

Among other things, Pellissippi State pledges to create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship and to increase entrepreneurs’ engagement with the college.

Pellissippi State supports entrepreneurship, in part, through the efforts of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, an affiliation of the college. They collaborate to offer training opportunities and workforce development in Blount, Claiborne, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier and Union counties.

“Our college has always been entrepreneurial in spirit, in our support for the growth of the local economy and workforce, and also in our work with students,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State. “Our partnership with NACCE reaffirms that commitment to develop the people, the businesses and the resources of our region.”

In 2017, Pellissippi State’s TSBDC served 364 clients, helped 33 new businesses start up, created 111 new jobs and retained 233 jobs. The firms that TSBDC aided went on to create more than $47.8 million in new capital investment into the local economy.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.