RCAM hosts workforce development workshop

The Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing recently hosted a National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) workshop focusing on innovation in workforce development.

The Coalition is a network of higher education resources that advocates and promotes the use of technology applications that enhance economic and workforce development programs and services.

RCAM hosts workforce development workshop
Workshop participants talk over manufacturing processes with RCAM staffers.

The three-day workshop featured industry tours, exhibits, breakout sessions, and a panel discussion.

Session topics included information on dual enrollment, industry certifications, and educational and economic development partnerships. The workshop also included presentations on manufacturing innovation and apprenticeships.

Keynote addresses were given by representatives from Eastman Chemical Co., Bell Helicopter, and the City of Kingsport. Industry tours were conducted at the A.O. Smith Corp., Domtar, and Eastman.

Beginning with twelve charter members in 1988, NCATC has over 170 member institutions, ranging from colleges, universities and schools to the corporate community, throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.ncatc.org.

Muriel Anderson & Jack Pearson perform June 28 at WRCPA

Guitarist Muriel Anderson and special guest Jack Pearson return to Northeast State this month to perform in the Hot Nights, Cool Music summer concert series.

Anderson and Pearson take the stage at 7 p.m. on June 28 at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the College’s Blountville campus. The performance continues the College’s “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert series. The concert is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The performance includes a special visual presentation on the theater’s big screen devoted to Northeast State’s 50th Anniversary.

Muriel Anderson (Photo courtesy of Muriel Anderson)
Muriel Anderson (Photo courtesy of Muriel Anderson)

Anderson ranks among the top acoustic nylon-string guitarists / harp-guitarists in the world. She is the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship and is host of the renowned Muriel Anderson’s All-Star Guitar Night. She will be offering a free musician’s workshop prior to the concert. Interested participants can contact jpkelly@northeaststate.edu for place and time.

Anderson’s recent CD “Nightlight Daylight” has won top honors in 11 national awards. It features her concept – the first ever interactive lighted CD cover and includes collaborations with her friends and fellow musicians Victor Wooten, Phil Keaggy, Mark Kibble of Take 6, Danny Gottlieb, Stanley Jordan, Tommy Emmanuel, Earl Klugh, Howard Levy, Jeff Coffin, Tierra Negra and members of the Nashville Symphony. She has performed/recorded with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Victor Wooten and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. She has been composing since the age of six and has published works for guitar and orchestra, voice, and solo guitar.

Jack Pearson (Photo by Bob Seaman)
Jack Pearson (Photo by Bob Seaman)

Guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, session-musician…this only begins to describe Jack Pearson. The Nashville native is best known as an A-list blues/rock lead and slide guitarist but Jack is also a soulful, creative songwriter and artist in his own right. Adept at many musical genres and instruments, he possesses the ability to take each to a higher level. His playing is sophisticated while full of intensity and passion, leaving audiences cheering and musicians smiling – shaking their heads in disbelief at his seemingly effortless skill and talent

During his 40 year career he has mastered a wide range of instruments including electric, slide, acoustic and resonator guitar, mandolin, old time banjo and Hammond organ, which he incorporates into many musical styles such as blues & roots music; jazz & bebop; pop & rock; and bluegrass & country. He was a member of The Allman Brothers Band from 1997-1999 and has worked with music legends from the world of jazz, rock, blues and country including The Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman, Vince Gill, Jimmy Buffett, Mike Snider, Faith Hill, Ronnie Milsap, Jimmy and the list goes on and on. His lyrical and musical hooks have also led to cuts by other artists.

Don’t miss the chance to hear two of the most talented instrumental musicians performing today. For more information, contact 423.279.7669.

Northeast State Police Department earns TLEA accreditation

The Northeast State Community College Police Department is now the first community college police department in the state to be granted accreditation status by the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation (TLEA) Program. The College was awarded the accreditation achievement at the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) meeting held earlier this month in Nashville.

“Northeast State Community College is committed to providing the best services and educational experience possible to our students,” said John Edens, Chief of Police at Northeast State. “The Northeast State Community College Police Department, by meeting this accreditation standards set by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, has demonstrated our commitment to professionalism as we serve the Northeast State community.”

To achieve accreditation with TLEA, an agency voluntarily submits to a process of enhancing the agency’s professionalism and effectiveness utilizing more than 160 law enforcement standards and participating in a thorough on-site assessment. The standards address a variety of areas including organizational, operational, safety, and budget management practices.

Northeast State Police Department successfully accomplished TLEA accreditation by meeting criteria that measured the professionalism, organizational, and overall readiness in law enforcement policy and procedures.  The program is intended to encourage cooperation, recognize professional standing, develop professional services and ensure public safety throughout the State of Tennessee.

Accreditation functions as a management tool establishing expectations of performance and procedures for an agency to follow. Accreditation provides a written guideline for management to operate the agency effectively, and productively aids in working relationships with other agencies and accountability to the citizens they serve.

“The standard of excellence that is met through this process is to be admired,” stated TACP President David Rausch. “We are proud to recognize the hard work of this department and its staff and their accomplishment to be the first state community college to receive the accreditation award,”

Northeast State began operating as a campus police department on July 1, 2005. Each Northeast State police officer is a sworn law enforcement officer with the duty and authority to enforce all applicable state laws including detention and arrest on any Northeast State campus. All received law enforcement training geared specifically for the college environment. Each Northeast State police officer must complete a minimum of 40 hours of annual in-service training in accordance with state law governing peace officer standards and training requirements.

The Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is a voluntary program that recognizes the excellence and professional achievement in law enforcement agencies across the state of Tennessee.  The program began in 2010 through the hard work and efforts of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. There are currently 62 law enforcement agencies involved in the state accreditation program, 80 percent of them have less than 50 sworn officers in their departments.

Northeast State sponsors pet adoption event June 18

Northeast State is putting the dog days of summer to good use with a pet adoption event June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the College’s Blountville campus.

The free and public event will provide the opportunity to adopt dogs and cats from several area adoption agencies. Veterinarians will also be on hand to offer tips on how to choose and care for animals.

The event will also boast a best dog trick contest, free pet photos, therapy dogs, giveaways, and prizes.

“We will have lots of animals to choose from,” said Joshua Johnson of the College’s Office of Scholarship Programs and Student Needs. “We want this to be a fun event that will get the community involved in a worthwhile cause.”

DogDaysofSummer_Poster (Community)In addition, Tennessee Promise students needing to complete required community service hours may volunteer to work with adoption agencies and veterinarians. As an alternative, students may also work at the College’s community gardens with the Northeast State GREENS Club.

Event partners include: Appalachian Animal Hospital, Airport Pet Emergency Clinic, Bridge Home No Kill Animal Rescue, Eastman Chemical Company, Humane Society of Washington County, Off Leash K9 Training, and SBK Animal Center.

The College’s Blountville campus is located at 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport. For more information, or to volunteer for the event, call 423.354.5235 or e-mail promise@NortheastState.edu.


LPN to RN pathway proves successful for Northeast Nursing

Carthaginian General Hannibal once remarked, “We will either find a way or make one.”

Vivian Mitchell enjoyed her days as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) working in the Labor and Delivery department of Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center. One day in 2014 she read a story about the RxTN grant and a new degree program at Northeast State Community College that helped LPNs become registered nurses (RN) in only three semesters after completing pre- courses. The idea piqued her interest, but finding a way to get there proved challenging.

“Everyone kept urging me to go on and get my RN,” said Mitchell. “I thought I was too old.”

But she was not “too old” and made her own way to becoming a registered nurse. Mitchell enrolled at in the LPN to RN Nursing Option at Northeast State in summer of 2015 and graduated as the second class of license practical nurses to earn an associate of applied science in Nursing degree.

This new program was created via the federal RxTN grant. The grant was awarded to the Northeast State Division of Nursing in October of 2012 through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant. The grant’s funding created a program to provide licensed practical nurses a pathway for completion of an associate of applied science in nursing degree, thus qualifying the graduates to sit for licensing exam to become an RN. The first LPN-to-RN class of students took to the classrooms in summer of 2014.

“You have to be strong, you have to be determined, and you have to support you can give them,” said Mitchell, who continued working full-time while raising her children. “I’d tell any LPN entering this program to be prepared to study more than you can imagine.”

Vivian Mitchell and 13 fellow LPNs graduated from Northeast State this year via the RxTN Program.
Vivian Mitchell and 13 fellow LPNs graduated from Northeast State this year via the RxTN Program.

Mitchell decided to become a nurse after graduating high school. She received her LPN certificate and began her career. She spent the past 12 years working in the Delivery/Labor unit at Holston Valley Medical Center. She also noted how changes in the regional health care network structure and uncertainties about that structure’s future workforce motivated her to return to college.

“It is a tough program that gets you ready for the kinds of experiences that are going to happen,” said Mitchell. “This is not an easy program at all.”

Like many nursing students with families, Mitchell continued working full-time while attending classes. The grueling schedule took its toll physically and mentally. Mitchell and 18 fellow students started the LPN to RN program in summer term of 2015. Of those 19 students who began the class, 14 graduated in May 2016.

“The toughest challenge we have with the LPN to RN students is they want to work full time while they are enrolled,” said Laura Jones, LPN-to-RN Program coordinator for Northeast State Nursing. “We recognize that because they have to care of their families.”

The RxTN Program created a consortium of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ 13 community colleges and 27 technology centers that received funding. The RxTN program placed a big emphasis on retention and graduation of participating students.

Although, the federal grant’s funding cycle ended on March 30, 2016, the College is continuing to fund the LPN to RN option. Jones said the summer 2016 term accepted 30 new students who started on May 23, 2016.

“To enter the program an applicant must have current LPN license,” said Jones. “We had a 100 percent pass rate for the NCLEX-RN exam for the first LPN to RN class of 2015; we were very proud of that.”

Prior learning assessment (PLA) provides academic credit to license practical nurses with a current LPN license. The PLA credit allows these students to complete the program in three semesters after completing pre- courses.  Upon completion the program’s participants earn an applied associate of science degree in Nursing.

Mitchell and her classmates did clinical work in care specialties including obstetrics-gynecology, pediatrics, mental health, and geriatric care. Students also study comprehensive care management and leadership. She is scheduled to take the NCLEX-RN exam in June.

For Mitchell and her colleagues being a nurse does not qualify as merely a job. While the life places many demands on its professionals, she said nurses were motivated by stronger goals than money or position.

“Nursing is truly a calling,” said Mitchell. “You have to have that desire, heart, and empathy to be able to take care of people.”

For questions about the LPN-to-RN program, visit www.northeaststate.edu/nursing or email lrjones@northeaststate.edu.