Northeast State named as WIA exceptional training provider 

BLOUNTVILLE – Northeast State Community College has been named an Exceptional Training Provider (ETP) for 2007-2008 Workforce Investment Act programs by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Exceptional Training Providers are identified as the three training provider institutions with the highest combined probability of WIA student completion and placement in their tier classification. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission selects institutions by calculating the probability of WIA students completing the program multiplied by the probability of the students being placed into the workforce.

Northeast State has 42 programs of study from which prospective WIA participants can choose.  ETP institutions that earn a top three ranking must have strong performance measures in all of their WIA programs.


Paper clips, a principal, and the class project of a lifetime

BLOUNTVILLE – A simple class project at a Tennessee middle school grew into an extraordinary international landmark thanks in no small part to the inspiration of school’s principal.

Northeast State Community College welcomes Whitwell Middle School Principal Linda Hooper to campus March 23 to present “The Power of One,” the moving story of how the students behind the Paper Clips Project responded to what had been to them a completely unfamiliar chapter in human history - the Holocaust.

The Paper Clips Project grew out of a sense that the students in the homogenous community weren’t learning about the lives and experiences of other groups. As the study progressed, the sheer number of Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis overwhelmed the students.  Six million was a number that the students could not remotely grasp. 

Upon learning of the project, Hooper gave the students permission to begin a collection, if, they could find something to collect that would have meaning to the project.  After some research, the students decided to collect paper clips. This little item carried great symbolism – the people of Norway wore paper clips on their lapels as a silent protest against Nazi occupation during World War II.

Students began bringing in paper clips. The students also asked people to share their reasons for sending a paper clip. To date approximately 30 million paperclips have been sent to Whitwell Middle School. In addition, the project has received more than 30,000 letters, documents, and artifacts. 

Hooper’s presentation chronicles how this project would change the students, their teachers, their families and the entire town forever...and eventually, open hearts and minds around the world as this remarkable story became an award-winning film entitled “Paper Clips.”

The paper clip collection has become a part of the “Children’s Holocaust Memorial” created by the students, staff, and community of Whitwell.  The memorial contains 11 million paper clips housed in an authentic German transport car honoring the lives of all people murdered by the Nazis. Eighteen (a Hebrew number for life) butterflies (a Christian symbol of renewal) enhance the grounds around the rail car. 

Hooper will speak at noon and again at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the main campus 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

The event is one highlight of Women’s History Month commemoration at Northeast State. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or e-mail jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Northeast State sets career skills programs for upcoming graduates

BLOUNTVILLE – Northeast State Community College wants upcoming spring graduates to enter the professional world prepared to make themselves the best candidates possible for the future.

Graduates can take advantage of three career building workshops led by human resource professionals on March 24-25 and April 7. The career skills seminars are being offered to all Northeast State students graduating with associate of applied science degrees and technical certificates this spring.

“As we know it may be difficult to find suitable employment in today’s job market,” said Pat Sweeney, special assistant to the president at Northeast State. “A person must distinguish themselves for the most success.”

The March 24-25 presentations will concentrate on building resumes. Jerry Bush and Stacy Harris from Eastman Chemical Company and Rowena Lyons of AccuForce Staffing Services are scheduled to conduct the presentations on March 24. Rhonda Reeves, director of human resources at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center and an employment security representative, will be the featured speaker on March 25. Both workshops begin at 10:30 a.m.

The April 7 seminar focuses strictly on job interviewing techniques and will be conducted by Lisa Summar, a senior recruiter with Eastman. This workshop begins at 10:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the student services building on the Blountville campus.

Career skills seminars developed by the College’s Student Services personnel bring graduates together with local employers and human resource professionals to discuss resume writing, interview techniques, and suggestions for job seeking actions. Skills assistance include methods of networking, scanning job postings, cold calls on employers, developing a plan to contact employers and how to make a resume exceptional.

Sweeney said more than 700 students scheduled to graduate this spring have been advised of the workshops via letter and e-mail. Members of the Northeast State English faculty will be on hand to review resumes and offer writing critiques for students.
“Our graduates have always been successful in finding employment,” said Sweeney. “We want to offer assistance to keep this record going.”


AMP Camp gives students insight on advanced manufacturing careers

BLOUNTVILLE – For one week this summer, rising eighth- and ninth-grade students will gather at Northeast State Community College to learn about career opportunities available to them in advanced manufacturing.

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) summer camp, scheduled June 8-12 and sponsored by the Advancing Manufacturing Partnership Project, is an opportunity for students to learn about a high tech career in a non-traditional field. Advanced manufacturing industries take raw materials and transform them into finished products through the use of a chemical and/or a physical process.

High tech jobs are both high paying and have the best opportunity for growth in the next decade. But many young people, especially women, do not realize that these career paths are open to them because of negative stereotypes and a lack of good role models. The AMP summer camp will introduce and help these students plug into their futures.

“Advanced manufacturing capability is the key to a competitive U.S. economy,” said Karen Rowell, of Eastman Chemical Company. “Many young people do not understand how challenging and interesting this work can be. I often see students who are struggling to enter a purely knowledge-based career when they would be happier and more successful in a skills based career that utilized both their brains and hands. We believe this camp will introduce these careers to students at an important time in their education.”

The camp will meet from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day on the Northeast State at Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. In addition to structured classes and lab activities, participants will tour at least one manufacturing site during the week. All program fees are grant funded. The registration deadline is April 20. Registration is limited to 20 students. All eighth- and ninth-grade students are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the AMP summer camp, contact Leslie Hunt at lchunt@NortheastState.edu, 423.354.5139 or Linda W. Calvert, lwcalvert@NortheastState.edu, 423.323.0222.