The Commercial Appeal: TCAT Memphis nets $4 million to advance Drive to 55

The Memphis campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology is adding a medical device institute with a $4 million grant announced Wednesday from Gov. Bill Haslam's office.

Haslam distributed 10 grants across the state worth a total of $24.3 million, aiming to aid colleges in addressing the growing capacity thanks to his Drive to 55 initiative that aims to raise the number of Tennessee residents with some sort of college degree to 55 percent.

TCAT Memphis Assistant Director Nathan Garrett said the money will be paired with a $1 million grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to create the Gene Haas Medical Device Institute.

TCAT last month opened a medical device training facility at Bartlett High School, where students can take dual enrollment classes to learn the technology before they graduate high school.

"That was the first step and now here’s the second step," Garrett said of the planned institute, which will also be in the Bartlett area.

According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the institute will train approximately 240 students annually in three programs associated with the medical device industry, and aims to graduate 1,600 students by 2025.

Source: The Commercial Appeal