TOP PHOTO: UT-Battelle, the company that runs Oak Ridge National Laboratories, donated $5,000 to Jacksboro TCAT to be used for local scholarships and student needs. The donation was secured by Sen. Ken Yager, who has pledged to fundraise for the TCAT foundation.

State Sen. Ken Yager (left) and Oak Ridge National Laboratories Deputy Director Jeff Smith (right) presented Jacksboro TCAT President Debbie Petree (center) with a check for $5,000 on Friday for scholarships.

By Charlotte Underwood   

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – State Sen. Ken Yager and Oak Ridge National Laboratories Deputy Director Jeff Smith visited the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) on Friday and presented a $5,000 check to go towards local scholarships. The donation was made by UT-Battelle, which is the company that runs Oak Ridge National Laboratories. 

“We are very grateful to UT-Battelle who helped give to this program,” Yager said. The funds were donated to a scholarship foundation program which is run by TCAT. This foundation covers things that tuition scholarships do not, such as books, funds for tools needed for school courses, as well as transportational needs.

Once, foundation funds were used to purchase a pair of steel toed boots for a student who was required to have them for a class, but could not afford it. “That’s why I felt this program was so important; the foundation is the deal maker for some of these kids. State and federal funds are often restricted but these funds have more flexibility to help students with those needs,” Yager said. 

“We have employees from this area and we love to see kids come out of these programs at the laboratory. We are pleased to help with this foundation,” Smith said.    

Yager originally learned about the foundation program at the ground breaking of one of TCAT’s new buildings in October 2019. At that event, he pledged to raise $15,000 to go towards the foundation. Friday’s donation of $5,000 brings the total to $7,000 raised so far. Yager said he plans to raise the rest this year. 

“TCATs are so important to our communities. They have outstanding track records for job placement and moving students forward,” Yager said. 

“We are so happy with this donation; it truly helps students in ways other scholarships cannot,” said Jacksboro TCAT President Debbie Petree.   

The Jacksboro TCAT accepted its first student on January 1, 1968. Since then it has grown exponentially. The school has around 20 instructors and 300 students. Courses are always expanding and have doubled from the seven programs offered back in 2013. Currently the school offers 14 different programs. 

For more information, contact the Jacksboro TCAT at 423-566-9629, or visit its website.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/01/2021-6AM)