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New Program Connects Students to TCAT Options

Job Exploration Aspect of New Program Takes Westview Students to TCAT – (Front, L to R) Manager Kandace Jackson, Lilli Brock, Faith Williams, QuaNya Currie, Nick Avent, Abebu Key, Michael Sloan, Jayden Kerney; (Back, L to R) Workplace Specialist Keith Douglas, Caidyn Warren, Jesse Urban, James Bailey, and Gabriel Harton.

TCAT McKenzie Introduces Greenfield Students to Career Paths – (Front, L to R) Laylonn Reynolds, Tanner Birdwell, Paige Cooper, Laila Pugh, Emily Scates; (Middle, L to R) Jonathan Cantrell, Alyssa Reddick, Melody Elliott, Malorie Jennings, Kendall Merrell, Reagan Duncan; (Back, L to R) Workplace Specialist Kaylee Kemp, Caleb Puckett, Omarion Miles, Caleb Fortner, Kody Mitchell, and Savannah Jenkins.

Gleason Students Discover TCAT Offerings – (L to R) Brady Witherspoon, Workplace Readiness Specialist Kaylee Kemp, Hunter Johnson, Macy Gilmer, Serenity Minard, Jacob Johnson, Kelce Maupin, Jacob Johnson, and Manager Kandace Jackson toured the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in McKenzie.

Dresden Students in Transition School to Work Program Tour TCAT – (Front, L to R) Workplace Specialist Kaylee Kemp, Andrew Carson, Damion North, Jason Ciscell, Manager Kandace Jackson; (Back, L to R) Tyler Peevyhouse, Noah Lozano, Brock Ellis, Curtis Swafford, John Sullivan, Jacob Nemyer, Chase Barker, and Pheonyx Surratt. 


Weakley County Schools Communications Director

MCKENZIE (February 24) – Nearly 50 students from Weakley County Schools now have a better understanding of career options after high school thanks to the Weakley County Transition School to Work Program’s recent tours of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) in McKenzie.

The district program encourages students with documented disabilities to take part in training and counseling intended to lead to employment or continued education after graduation.

Kandace Jackson serves as the Case Manager for the program. Working alongside her are Workplace Readiness Specialists Keith Douglas and Kaylee Kemp. They traveled with groups from each high school to observe and hear from TCAT representatives.

“Our goal with this trip was to expose these students to one of our local post-secondary options in a small group setting that would allow them feel comfortable asking questions and get an in-depth understanding of how TCAT works and what TCAT can do for them,” Jackson said.

The Dresden, Gleason, Greenfield and Westview students traveled to McKenzie in February. Content for the day included an overview of the eight programs offered there – HVAC/Appliance Repair, Welding, Automotive, Machine Tool Technology, Administrative Office Management, Information Technology, and Industrial Maintenance. Students also heard more about the types of careers they could pursue with each certification and the average pay expected, what local employers hire TCAT graduates, and options for financial aid.

Jackson notes that the program, designed to prepare students for the transition from school to work or post-secondary training, does so through the delivery of five services:

  • Job Exploration Counseling – Exploring career choices and requirements of specific jobs
  • Work-based Learning – Engaging in paid or non-paid work experiences within school settings or community-based settings
  • Work-readiness Training – Preparing students for the workplace through training and education on social, job specific and independent living skills
  • Self-advocacy Training – Helping students learn more about themselves, their disability and how to interact with the world
  • Post-secondary Counseling – Exploring options such as education programs, technical school certifications, vocational rehabilitation, etc.

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