Northeast State Machine Tool Operations earns NIMS accreditation

The Machine Tool Operations Program at Northeast State Community College reached a new height in program history when it became nationally accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) beginning November of 2016.

NIMS Accreditation is the premiere benchmark for metalworking training programs in the United States as based on NIMS Skills Standards which are industry-written, industry-approved, and recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. NIMS sets industry supported standards for accreditation in machining across America.

“Our NIMS accreditation validates our program and curriculum on a national level,” said Brad Stufflestreet, Machine Tool program director. “With this accreditation, we join an elite group of machining programs that have received this recognition, with the next closest school being over 100 miles away.”

Stufflestreet noted that not only does accreditation support the program, but Northeast State students are able to earn industry-recognized credentials through NIMS. The credentials are validated through local industries and attest to the students’ level of learning through practical demonstration of their skills.

“We continue to strengthen our local relationships and are investigating additional opportunities including registered apprenticeship programs with support from NIMS,” he added.

(from left) Barry Griggs, Barbara McCray, Brad Stufflestreet, and Keith Tittle hoist the banner recognizing Machine Tool Operations as a nationally accredited program by NIMS.

The NIMS accreditation resulted through the Labor Department’s Trade Adjustment and Community College Career Training grant that brought together Northeast State and five other colleges to form the Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium (SEELC) in 2013. One of the purposes of this grant was to add the opportunity for students to receive stackable industry-recognized credentials (such as NIMS credentials) in addition to college certificates and degrees.

“This national NIMS accreditation is a major accomplishment and is the result of a focused team effort that involved college faculty, local employer partners, and SEELC grant staff,” said Barbara McCray, project manager for the SEELC grant at Northeast State. “The NIMS accreditation will bring more attention to the Northeast State machine tool program from area employers and potential students.”

Accreditation is based on NIMS National Skill Standards for Machining Level I with a focus on CNC and manual machining skills. As a nationally accredited program, the College demonstrated its commitment to providing industry-level training for northeast Tennessee and for the greater U.S. manufacturing industry.

Led by Industry Certification Coordinator Barry Griggs, college staff and faculty met the stringent quality requirements set forth by NIMS. The College undertook several requirements including a self-audit, the certifying of faculty and students against NIMS industry credentials, and an intensive two-day on-site evaluation at the Blountville campus.

“Everyone has worked together well to meet all the NIMS requirements for a top-notch machine tool program,” said Griggs. “I think the school’s desire to meet these high standards shows the commitment of the school to its students and I’m very happy to see the school achieve this national recognition.”

The Fall 2016 on-site evaluation was conducted by NIMS evaluators. The visit included a comprehensive facility inspection, observation of student safety habits, and a series of in-depth interviews with faculty, administrators, and local employers.

Keith Tittle, interim assistant dean of the Advanced Technologies division at Northeast State, said the NIMS accreditation validated the quality and level of instruction offered at the College. He said the program’s dedication remained consistent with that of nationally recognized programs.

“This is also an indication of the commitment of our highly qualified instructors to deliver training that will ensure students are successful in the workplace,” said Tittle. “Overall, this NIMS accreditation is evidence of a very successful program involving instructors, students, and local industry.”

For more information about the Machine Tool Operations program and how to apply for admission, visit or call 800.836.7822.

Workforce Solutions offers 10-week phlebotomy program

Workforce Solutions at Northeast State is offering a 10-week course in phlebotomy, which is projected to be one of the fastest growing health-care occupations in the next decade.

Phlebotomists specialize in drawing blood and work in hospitals, clinics, medical offices, laboratories, and public health facilities. Phlebotomists are crucial members of a medical team, providing quality laboratory samples and patient/donor care in a variety of medical settings.

Individuals interested in starting a career in the medical field, prospective patient care technicians, current nurses, or those looking to develop skills may be good candidates for the program. The training includes theory and hands-on instruction during a 10-week program. This course includes labs in a hospital setting and 100 documented sticks.

Students will gain the technical knowledge required to assist them in passing the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification examination, which is included in the course.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow 27 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Class Dates: Feb. 9 – April 19, 2016
Course Hours: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Regional Center for Health Professions Building in Kingsport, 300 W. Main St.
Fees: $675 (includes the NHA Certification Exam)

The course’s instructor has been a phlebotomist for many years and has taught phlebotomy since 2005. Credentials include a bachelor’s in Management, and a master’s in Education.

Registration Deadline: January 26, 2016

For more information and how to register for this class, please contact Rebecca Moody with Workforce Solutions at 423.354.5520 or

Strategic Thought can help with those overwhelming work days

Today, leaders and staff are drowning in a sea of meetings, e-mails, interruptions, reports, and short-term immediate demands. They find themselves working late or taking their work home at night, which adversely affects their personal life and ultimately productivity.

But now there’s hope: Strategic Thought.

Help image 1Offered by Northeast State’s Workforce Solutions, this course shows participants how to allocate their time and energy so they can think ahead, add value, improve their daily and weekly results, and come up with new innovative ideas. The course will help participants question and validate everything in their work day and develop ways of dealing with overwhelming situations.

The course is based on more 16 years of research with leaders, sales professionals, and support staff from more than 400 companies. The results of this course are immediate and lasting.

Name: Organizing for Success Using Strategic Thought
Date: Nov. 10, 2015
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Blountville campus, Basler Library Room L106
Instructor: Ken Zeigler
Course Fees: $250.00 per participant or $225 per participant for groups of 4 or more
Registration Deadline: Oct. 30.

To register, contact Diana Harrison at 423.354.5520 or

Eastman, ASQ host meeting Sept. 24

Eastman Chemical Company and the American Society for Quality (ASQ) are proud to announce an upcoming meeting on Sept. 24  at the Toy F. Reid Eastman Employee Center, Room 219, 400 W. Wilcox Dr., in Kingsport.

ASQ Treasurer and 2017 chair, Eric Hayler, will present a remarkable program on quality processes at his workplace, BMW. The topic will be of special interest to those working in Eastman’s Quality Assurance organizations. Faculty, staff, and students of Northeast State Community College are also invited to attend.

Registration opens at 5:00 p.m. with the tutorial beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:15 p.m. The feature presentation will begin at 6:45 p.m.

Eastman is honored to co-host this program with the Northeast Tennessee Section of ASQ. The section will provide dinner at a cost of $10 (Adults) and $5.00 (Students) for those who register for the dinner. Also, the section will provide a tutorial before the dinner for early arrivers. The tutorial opens a discussion on “The ASQ Recertification Process” with Joe Kirkpatrick which will be of particular interest for any attendees who currently bear an ASQ certification.

Eric Hayler will present the BMW Manufacturing Co.'s Lean Six Sigma and Value Added Production System.
Eric Hayler will present the BMW Manufacturing Co.’s Lean Six Sigma and Value Added Production System.

Hayler will conduct the evening’s featured presentation on  the BMW Manufacturing Co. – Quality and Continuous Improvement, Lean Six Sigma and Value Added Production System.

BMW Manufacturing has been producing the Ultimate Driving Machine in Spartanburg, S.C., for 20 years. The BMW X3, X4, X5, and X6 are made for 140 markets around the world. BMW is known for its quality. In this presentation, how BMW manages quality and continuous improvement will be discussed. Insight into product quality assessment, process assessment, and balanced scorecard approach will be included.

Hayler is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is ASQ Treasurer and will be ASQ Chair in 2017.

To attend, please register at (to cancel, please contact Ashok Gala at 423-229-3498 or

Are you ready for ICD-10?

Northeast State’s Workforce Solutions is offering an in-depth test prep course to help healthcare professionals update their ICD-10-CM knowledge and skills.

Participants will prepare for the ICD-10-CM test by learning code changes, guidelines, and structure and conventions. Students will also take practice tests. Prior coding experience will be helpful in completing the course.

ICD-10 Get Ready Now before Oct. 1.
ICD-10 Get Ready Now before Oct. 1.

Implementation of the ICD-CM-10 code set is Oct. 1, 2015. The ICD-10 certification test must be taken by Dec. 31, 2015.

Class times: Mondays: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Class dates: Oct. 5 through Dec. 14

Class fee: $250.00 plus books

Instructors: Larena Grieshaber and Sharon Riddle – both are ICD-10-CM certified.

To register, contact Cindy Tauscher at 423.354.2570 or