Alcoa grant keeps Pellissippi State on cutting edge of engineering

Pellissippi State Technical Community College is taking another step into the technological future, thanks to a grant from the Alcoa Foundation.

The grant, worth $88,355 split over two years, was presented to the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the college.

The funding will help Pellissippi State purchase and upgrade equipment and technology for the Mechanical Engineering Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology degree programs.

“We are really grateful for the Alcoa Foundation’s contributions to the college,” said Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi State. “This funding increases our capacity to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.”

More than 200 students are majoring in the engineering technology programs at the college. In addition, more than 100 are enrolled under a Pellissippi State–East Tennessee State University partnership that allows engineering technology students to earn an associate’s degree from the community college and a bachelor’s degree from ETSU, all without leaving the Pellissippi State campus.

Pellissippi State offers continuing education and contract training to area employees through the Business and Community Services Division.

“When industry partners with a community college, it really helps the college keep pace with technology and meet technical training needs,” Edwards said.

The school received $44,177 this year and will get the remaining $44,178 in 2008. Pellissippi State expects to have some equipment funded by the grant in place for spring semester 2008.

“Alcoa and Pellissippi State have been community partners for nearly 30 years,” said Melissa Copelan, community relations manager for Alcoa Inc.’s Tennessee operations.

“They have been extremely responsible stewards of our foundation investments, and we look forward to supporting this initiative that will help students be more competitive in our ever-changing workforce.”

In the past 20 years, the Alcoa Foundation has donated nearly $500,000 to the school. For more on giving to the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit or call 865-694-6528. To learn more about the college and its programs, go to

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