Pellissippi’s new AMTEC Center driven by auto manufacturing needs

Beginning with the opening in the 1980s of Nissan’s Smyrna assembly operation and Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, production plant and continuing with the recent decision by Volkswagen to build a factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee has become the avenue for many employment opportunities for people skilled in the technology end of automotive manufacturing.

Pellissippi State Community College’s new Industrial Maintenance concentration is geared to meet the growing needs of that industry-vast roadmap of parts and systems manufacturers like DENSO and PBR/Bosch and “feeder” suppliers whose products are destined for the Tennessee and Kentucky plants.

“Pellissippi State is one of a select group of schools across the U.S. that are members of the AMTEC [Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative] National Center for Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing,” said Mike Hudson. Hudson is the college’s director of Certificate Programs.

AMTEC is a nationwide cooperative between community colleges and automotive manufacturing companies. The centers provide the latest in technology and training for students to learn what they need to know in an industry known for its rapid changes. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program, AMTEC centers like Pellissippi State serve as a collaborative multi-skill development program.

“Thanks to the college’s unique partnerships, Pellissippi State students gain hands-on experience with companies that operate daily in the changing manufacturing environment,” said Hudson.

Students who complete the two-year curriculum earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Industrial Maintenance, or “Mechatronics.” Mechatronics combines mechanical and electrical engineering courses.

“Pellissippi State developed the Industrial Maintenance concentration in Engineering Technology in response to extensive studies of manufacturing industry needs,” said Judy Gosch, director of curriculum and new program development. The college also participated through AMTEC in research specifically aimed at automotive manufacturing.

To enroll in or learn more about Mechatronics, visit or contact Enrollment Services at 865-694-6400.

For additional information about the AMTEC National Center for Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing, contact Hudson at 865-694-6416 or

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