Tennessee’s Newest Public College Will Double As A Training Center For Nissan
Gov. Bill Haslam, fourth from left, along with architects of the new TCAT building, symbolically broke ground on the building's site in Smyrna. It's directly across from a Nissan North America plant. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Tennessee’s Newest Public College Will Double As A Training Center For Nissan

Gov. Bill Haslam, fourth from left, along with architects of the new TCAT building, symbolically broke ground on the building's site in Smyrna. It's directly across from a Nissan North America plant. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN
Gov. Bill Haslam, fourth from left, along with architects of the new TCAT building, symbolically broke ground on the building’s site in Smyrna. It’s directly across from a Nissan North America plant. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

The Tennessee Board of Regents broke ground today on a new facility across the street from Nissan’s factory in Smyrna. The $35 million building will serve as an extension of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro, as well as a training center for Nissan.

Students here will work toward a certificate or credential related to advanced manufacturing. They won’t necessarily work for Nissan afterward — they might take a job at another manufacturer in the region such as Bridgestone.

Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America, says the level of training needed for this kind of job has gotten tougher.

“They have a preparation that you cannot imagine. It’s more complex to do the job today than when I was a student of engineering,” he says. “So we’re qualifying people more and more and more.”

Nissan employees will also be doing training at the facility. According to TBR, the car manufacturer has contributed about $3 million toward the project, which includes some equipment. The new building is expected to be finished by fall of 2016.

Emily Siner

Emily Siner is an enterprise reporter at WPLN. She has worked at the Los Angeles Times and NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and her written work was recently published in Slices Of Life, an anthology of literary feature writing. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On Twitter: @SinerSays
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