May 30, 2008
The Tennessee Technology Center-Newbern’s Automotive Program was honored this week as runner-up for the "Tomorrow’s Technician School of the Year" award from Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. and Babox Publications.
Thomas Pelette, Eastern Manager of the CP North America Customer Center, presented the award in person on Thursday morning to TTC-Newbern automotive instructor Jim Stafford and his students in the automotive shop.
Pelette congratulated students, faculty and community members for local support of the program and delivered the school’s prize of $2,000 worth of tools directly to the students.
"This is a great accomplishment for this school," said Pelette. "It shows a lot about the program. It is very well deserved. (Your school) competed with schools out there with four to five times the number of graduates you have. But, we were not looking at quantity, we were looking at the quality of the graduates."
PC is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of high-performance aftermarket tools, accessories and compressors. Babox Publications is the publisher of T2, a trade magazine dedicated to the education of future technicians.
The partnership between the two companies was built from a mutual desire to assist in the education of young technicians and to recognize the efforts of teachers, students and schools nationwide.
"Babcox and Tomorrow’s Technician share Chicago Pneumatic’s dedication to technical training and safety," said Beth Skove, associate publisher at Babcox in a recent press release.
"Through this process we’ve had the chance to learn about the great programs at more than 170 schools across the country, strengthening our already robust belief in the quality of technician education."
"Finishing in the top 17 would have put you in the top 10 percent of graduates in the country," Pelette told students in the Newbern program on Thursday. "The top four puts you in the top two percent. I want to congratulate everyone here."
"Just to remind you of how important you are, the program that put the man on the moon in 1969-the computer program that ran that mission-was less sophisticated than the computer in today’s vehicles. That shows you how important it is, the work that you do."
TTC-Newbern officials were aware that the program landed in the top four, but were pleasantly surprised to learn that the program ranked second in the competition.
"This is news (to us,)" said Stafford at the presentation. "We knew we were in the top four, but we didn’t know we were second place. All of this is due to the students."
At the presentation, TTC-Newbern was awarded the plaque, tools, and shirts, hats, pens and other items commemorating their achievement.
"TTC Newbern may be considered as a small rural institution by some, but we never stop thinking big for the betterment of our students," said Stafford in the press release. "We feel privileged to be listed among the top schools in the nation. The administration and students really appreciate the recognition of their hard work from Chicago Pneumatic and Tomorrow’s Technician."
Working with both secondary and postsecondary students, TTC Newbern’s program is designed to prepare individuals for a career in today’s high-tech automotive repair industry. The automotive program at TTC-Newbern is the first and only postsecondary school in the state with an Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES) program. The school is also one of only four in the state to offer Ford Motor Company Maintenance and Light Repair training and certification.
Currently, TTC-Newbern is one of only 10 technical schools in the U.S, in partnership with Girl Scouts of America, to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor/Bridgestone Tire to teach teen girls responsible car ownership and operation.
Through a partnership with Dyersburg State Community College, TTC-Newbern graduates may choose to continue their education with credits transferring toward an associate’s degree.
At the presentation, Pelette reported that first place School of the Year was awarded to Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Ill. The other finalist schools were North Central Technical Skills Center in Wenatchee, Wash. and the Sultana High School Automotive Tech Program in Hesperia, Calif.
Source: State Gazette (Dyersburg, Tenn.) http://www.stategazette.com
Photo by Vanessa Cain