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Hamilton County High School students recently completed BASF’s TECH Academy – a weeklong educational and workforce development program hosted at Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee. TECH Academy encourages students to learn more about technical and craft careers through experiments, demonstrations, field trips and dialogue with industry professionals.

“BASF’s TECH Academy creates great chemistry between participating Hamilton County school students, Chattanooga State and our local industry partners,” said Rob Gagliano, BASF site director in Chattanooga.

“Our local manufacturing community opened their doors for the students to learn about craft careers and opportunities in industry.”

Following morning classroom instruction at Chattanooga State, the students participated in afternoon field trips that reinforced skills needed in technical disciplines. They learned both soft skills to use in the workplace and technical skills through hands-on activities in plant operations, general engineering practices, 3D printing and more.

“Chattanooga State is proud to partner with BASF and area employers to help introduce students early to the possibilities for exciting technical and craft careers,” said Lisa Jackson, director of WACKER Institute at Chattanooga State. “Through TECH Academy, students are learning about the programs available at Chattanooga State and receiving real-world professional exposure through tours of companies in our region.”

Tours of area manufacturers and organizations included BASF’s site in Chattanooga as well as Roadtec, Gestamp, Westinghouse and Tennessee Valley Authority’s facilities.

Hixson High School seniors and twin sisters, Cora and Cassidy Yarborough, participated in TECH Academy together. “TECH Academy was a great way for us to bond and share skills together,” said Cora about attending the program alongside her sister. “It was a great way for us to receive exposure in many different fields we didn’t even know about.”

Cassidy is looking forward to using the skills she learned at TECH Academy as she graduates and decides her career path. “I think that TECH Academy gave me a broader view of career opportunities,” she said. “I can apply what I learned in class, like chemistry, as an opportunity to pursue engineering.”

TECH Academy is part of BASF’s STEM education and workforce development efforts in North America to support industry growth and investment in the region. The program is funded annually by BASF and is free for students. The application process is open to any local student going into their junior or senior year of high school with interest in technical careers.

The following students completed TECH Academy 2019:

Christopher Boyd, East Ridge High School/PolyTech Academy
Angelo Cameron, The Howard School
Charles Decker, East Ridge High School/PolyTech Academy
Parker Davis, Hixson High School
Preston Davis, Hixson High School graduate
George Krich, Red Bank High School
Jonathan McPhetridge, Red Bank High School
Eric Moore, The Howard School/PolyTech Academy
Bryce Raper, Hixson High School
Nathaniel Slough, East Ridge High School/PolyTech Academy
Cassidy Yarborough, Hixson High School
Cora Yarborough, Hixson High School