TCAT campuses participate in national signing day for tech students

McKENZIE, Tenn. — Future students at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology were treated like five-star athletes Thursday during the National Technical Letter of Intent Signing Day.

“We had 23 students here and 25 in Paris,” Brad White, TCAT director for the McKenzie and Paris campuses, said. ”They’re coming from high schools like Dresden, Milan, Mckenzie, Huntingdon and Paris, just all over.”

Though it wasn’t a typical national signing day that student athletes take part in, Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s NC3 signing day brought out many high school students in the area who are seeking a career in anything from cosmetology, dental assisting to early childhood education.

White says there is a high demand for technical skills in the area. “We’re just trying to get the word out that this type of education is what we need, they need and the community needs to grow our communities.”

Huntingdon High School senior Charles Land said out of the 20 offered programs, he chose to sign up for welding because it’s something he’s always had an interest in.

“It’s something I learned to do at home with my dad, and I liked it ever since I started with it,” he said. “And I feel like I could make a good career out of it.”

Even though it isn’t usually a popular program among students, instructor David Earley says welding had the most sign-ups during the event.

“A lot of our older welders are retiring, and there wasn’t a lot of interest in it,” he said. “So to see the turnout we had today, it’s pretty exciting.”

The TCAT campus at McKenzie was just one technical school in West Tennessee that took part in the event.

The Jackson, Paris and Covington locations all participated in the big day.