Imagine finding a job that pays more than average in East Tennessee and getting the training free of charge.
It is possible, thanks to a federal program working alongside an East Tennessee college.
Roane State's Advanced Materials Training and Education Center gives
people who are out of a job or underemployed training at a number of
different companies around East Tennessee. That includes Carbon Fiber Technology, which is under the umbrella of the Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratory.
"Looking to go back into school, but finances were kind of tight. I was working a job, but not a lot of income," recalled John Thornton, before he started with AMTEC. He now works with the Oak Ridge Company.
"It is a program that is funded by the Department of Labor.It offers up to 14 weeks of training for individuals looking for a career change," said AMTEC's interim director Deb Miller.
Leaders say expansion in fields, like carbon fiber development, is expected to explode in the coming years. Miller said that is why AMTEC is training to get a skilled workforce in East Tennessee ready for the future expansion.
"Proving scale up on carbon fiber production with lower cost materials and try and drive down the costs of carbon fiber," said Lee McGetrick with Carbon Fiber Technology.
The program will continue its funding through June 2014 with the U.S. Department of Labor. At that time, Roane State hopes more companies will get on board and help pay for the program.
"I could of sat around and said, there's no jobs. But if you go out and look try to find means to educate yourself, there's plenty," said Thornton.
For more information on AMTEC, visit their website