NASHVILLE (September 28) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee last week announced a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) to be developed on the Memphis Regional Megasite in conjunction with Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation’s Blue Oval City.
Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08) commended Governor Bill Lee’s effort following Ford Motor Company’s announcement that they have selected the Memphis Regional Megasite for one of the largest battery and vehicle manufacturing campuses in the United States. Ford and SK Innovation will invest $5.6 billion to build a 3,600-acre mega campus called Blue Oval City on the Memphis Regional Megasite, where production of next generation all-electric F-Series trucks will begin in 2025. This investment, which is the largest in the state’s history, will result in the creation of 5,800 new jobs in West Tennessee. Further, this project is anticipated to contribute $3.5 billion each year to Tennessee’s gross state product.
“Today is a truly remarkable day for West Tennessee and the entire region. Ford’s investment in the Megasite will bring in thousands of jobs and will reshape West Tennessee’s economy for generations to come. I would like to thank Governor Bill Lee and his economic development team for their hard work in securing this investment. Ford’s commitment demonstrates its confidence in West Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee and his leadership, as well as the economic opportunity of the Memphis Regional Megasite. I look forward to working with Ford and Governor Lee to ensure West Tennessee is a leader in our nation’s automotive industry,” said Rep. Kustoff.
“Leading companies select Tennessee because of our skilled workforce,” said Gov. Lee. “This unique partnership with Ford and SK Innovation will enable Tennesseans to skill up and meet the specific employment demands of Blue Oval City. Tennessee stands ready to provide a twenty-first century workforce.”
The new TCAT will provide customized training developed in conjunction with Ford and SK Innovation. This high-quality training will focus on electric vehicle and battery manufacturing and repair with the curriculum concentrating on mechatronics engineering and automechanics. Tennessee continues to develop the resources to meet increasing workforce demand and was recently named the No. 1 state in the U.S. for advanced industry job growth. Tennessee also ranks No. 1 in the Southeast for electric vehicle manufacturing, claiming nearly 40 percent of the Southeast’s electric vehicle manufacturing jobs and investment.
“Technical Colleges are an integral part of Tennessee’s workforce development strategy. Through technical education, skills gaps are closed and opportunities for good jobs are opened.” Commissioner Jeff McCord, Department of Labor and Workforce Development
During a challenging year for higher education when many institutions saw a decrease in enrollment, Tennessee added 1,000 students at its TCATs in the fall of 2021. This is largely due to a $79 million investment this year from Gov. Lee to eliminate the 11,400 person TCAT waiting list in 2021. Gov. Lee has prioritized vocational education and apprenticeships, increasing apprenticeships across the state by more than 30 percent since taking office and investing over $30 million in the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) to provide career and technical education in rural communities.
“Customized industry training is what the Tennessee Board of Regents does to ensure our graduates are employable and productive from day one. This new workforce training center planned for the Memphis Regional Megasite in partnership with Ford and SK Innovation will equip Tennesseans with the skills they need for rewarding careers, now and for years to come. We are extremely excited to be working alongside Ford Motor Company and SK Innovation in changing lives and the landscape of Tennessee. Thanks to the Governor and the legislature, this center will allow us to continue and enhance our mission of student success and workforce development.” Chancellor Flora Tydings, Tennessee Board of Regents
Ford and SK Innovation will invest $5.6 billion to build a 3,600-acre mega campus called Blue Oval City on the Memphis Regional Megasite, where production of next generation all- electric F-Series trucks will begin in 2025. The project will result in the creation of 5,800 new jobs in West Tennessee.