Bellwether Names Chattanooga State Community College As Finalist

Friday, January 12, 2018 - by Betty Proctor, Chattanooga State

Bellwether’s “Focusing on the Adult Learner” theme fit nicely with goals established by Chattanooga State Community College, so it was not surprising when the College was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Bellwether Awards, Workforce Development Category. For its selected Bellwether Award project, Chattanooga State submitted its outstanding workforce development training solutions package for Whirlpool Corporation when the industry giant built a new $200 million state-of-the-art factory at its Cleveland location.

Annually recognizing outstanding and innovative programs and practices, the Bellwether Awards honor community colleges that are successfully leading their institutions into the future. Seeing the workforce training successes that Chattanooga State had with VW, Wacker Chemical, Tennessee Rand and several other area manufacturers, Whirlpool turned to the College to provide the necessary tool and die and maintenance training.

“We had been conducting on-site training for nearly all of our 100 years in Cleveland,” said Plant Leader Dicky Walters. “With the advent of the new plant’s state-of-the-art equipment, we completely re-thought our employee training. We looked to Chattanooga State because they already had instructors and necessary training equipment, which represented a huge cost saving to us as we would not have to duplicate as much at our new site.”

Chattanooga State’s submission will be judged with other finalist entries by the Bellwether Selection Committee during the 2018 Community College Futures Assembly on January 28-30, 2018 at the Hilton Hotel, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando Florida.

The Bellwether Awards are an integral part of the Community College Futures Assembly, established in 1995. The Assembly is sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Florida and focuses on cutting-edge, trendsetting programs that other colleges might find worthy of replicating.

This non-cash award has been compared to football’s Heisman Trophy because it is competitively judged and is given by peers in community colleges. It has also been called “the award of awards” because many institutions with programs that have won other accolades have applied for the Bellwether Award. Moreover, previous recipients of the Bellwether Award have said it has been a springboard for other types of recognition and/or funding.


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