Auto Industry Drives Workforce Training in the Chattanooga Area

March 10, 2021

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when technical training programs at Chattanooga State Community College struggled to recruit students, recalls Jim Barrott, executive vice president of the school’s College of Applied Technology. To address this challenge, the college added programs in industrial maintenance and mechatronics, and launched a collaboration that placed Volkswagen Academy on the VW campus at Enterprise South. Over the past 10 years, 130 students completed apprenticeships at Volkswagen Academy and were offered jobs at the manufacturer’s facility. Burkhard Ulrich, the senior vice president of human resources for Volkswagen Chattanooga, says the company’s success depends on a constant flow of qualified workers like these Academy graduates.