Skilled Grant Application Entries

Contact Information
InstitutionTCAT Athens
School ofMachine Tool Technology
AddressP.O. Box 848
1635 Technology Way
Athens, TN 37371
United States
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Contact Person/Position
Full NameKaleb Moser
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Phone(423) 836-5218
Before submitting, please confirm the following information is complete and accurate:
  • Contact information
Section I: Project Proposal Summery
HTML BlockProvide a summary description of the project:
Amount requested$100,000
Funding Term2 years
The project falls into which of the following categoriesIndustrial Tool & Die programs
How will this project serve students and enhance the quality and experience of education?

TCAT Athens is undergoing great changes. A new president was hired and started in January 2023. Her vision of excellence and growth is to move the college forward by adding industry-recognized credentials in all programs by December 2024. This work has resulted in being recognized as the top practical nursing program in the state and having a student obtain gold in 3 axis machining at Skills USA. Meanwhile, the governor is providing funding for an additional building in Athens and a new campus in Polk County. As the college strives toward excellence, it will need the support of its partners for upgrades in older programs.

TCAT Athens plans to use Denso grant funds to improve the Machine Tool Technology (MTT) program equipment which will update the program and provide better skill attainment for Precision Machining and Tool & Die students. Specifically, we plan to purchase:

• Four CAD workstations. Updated computers and monitors for our CAD program will be purchased, so students can use the full functionality of our software.
• Four mills to improve skill attainment.
• A laser engraver to teach how to engrave student work and parts, while also being able to create TCAT Athens items for recruitment. Denso will be noted on the recruitment items too.
• A hardness tester to advance our Precision Machining and Tool & Die instruction by helping students understand how different materials will respond to different machining.
• Two mill and two lathe DROs to improve functionality of the machines, while also allowing NIMS industry credentials testing.

Provide a statement of need.

TCAT Athens has identified the MTT program as one that needs extra attention. In addition to applying for the Denso grant, TCAT Athens hired a new full-time instructor, Kaleb Moser, as of September 2023. Kaleb brings energy, excitement, and current skill knowledge to the program. Through his leadership, TCAT Athens renewed its relationship with Denso in Athens. Denso is hoping to begin sending employees to the MTT program for Tool & Die apprentices related education. To prepare our program for apprentices, we need to make some improvements.

TCAT Athens needs to update the MTT program equipment to improve program attraction and student skill attainment. Over the years, the program equipment has had a great deal of use which has created the need to update our expensive machines. Updating the machines improves the students' skill attainment while also improving program attraction as younger students seek more attractive learning environments.

At this time, our computers are not fast enough to simulate the CAD software designs giving students limited experience with the programs. Our mills have limited capabilities due to overuse and lack of maintenance. This impacts the skills being taught. Adding DROs to the lathes and mills allows students to have additional learning opportunities and provides the ability for NIMS testing. Finally, the laser engraver and hardness tester add skills to the program that are currently not taught.
To further support the MTT program, TCAT Athens is leveraging Perkins grant funding to improve student recruitment and add additional program options. Perkins funding will be used to buy a tabletop CNC and 3D Printer which will be used at community and school recruitment events, while 25-26 Perkins funds will be used to add a Metrology component to the existing program allowing for a new skill set.

State current conditions and the desired change as a result of this project. One page or less.

TCAT Athens has antiquated equipment in the MTT program that needs updating, due to years of usage. The outcome of the MTT program are skilled employees who excel in Precision Machining and Tool & Die. The current program issues certificates in production Machine Tender, Machine Set-up Operator, General Machinist, Machinist 1, and Die Specialist. The laddering of the program ensures a student has a good foundational knowledge of manually machining before advancing to computerized operations and design.

In the last year, we’ve hired a new instructor who is excellent in the machining world, skilled at teaching students, and NIMS certified in multiple areas. For the first time in many years, TCAT Athens sent students to the reginal Skills USA competition. TCAT Athens had an MTT student receive gold for his 3-axis machining work. He will compete in the national Skills USA competition during the last week of June. This demonstrates the ability and quality of the skills taught in our current program.

We are now working to create an excellent lab, where our students can continue to grow and be developed into people ready for our local industries. To do this we plan to engage our K-12 students at community and school events, provide summer/youth camps, and add workshops to up-skill the local community while also advancing our on-site student skill attainment.

The following is the list of outcomes this grant will provide:

• New equipment will ensure students are learning skills with the most relevant equipment found in local industries. It also ensures that students are learning skills that are correct and not learning bad habits used to operate machines with issues.

• New equipment ensures students can earn NIMS Industry Recognized credentials, because the equipment will meet the lab requirements for NIMS.

• New equipment will allow the capacity and ability to provide short-term training workshops to job seekers or currently employed individuals who need to up-skill. Workshops will focus on mill, lathe, CNC, CAD, and metrology.

• New equipment helps highlight careers to prospective students. TCAT Athens conducts tours for middle and high school students, parents, and adults who are interested in Precision Machining and Tool & Die. Old equipment is not attractive to prospective students. In nursing, for example, we used Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to add simulation mannequins and new beds to the lab. The outcome has been an increase in program interest, because prospective students are attracted to well-maintained, modern equipment in their industry.

• New equipment will allow TCAT Athens to provide additional skills in new areas such as metrology and laser marking created parts.

• The Perkins grant funds will be leveraged alongside the Denso grant to further help with student recruitment and program expansion. Perkins funds will be used to attract prospective students to MTT by demonstrating current equipment at local events. New programming in metrology will support the current program and allow for local training.

Provide a schedule of project milestones (i.e. a progress or event schedule)

Date: August 15, 2024-December 15, 2024
Action Step: New Equipment Ordered & Installed
Outcome: Students begin completing projects on new equipment.

Date: December 15, 2024 – August 1, 2026
Action Step: Students are using new equipment.
Outcomes: Improved hands-on experiences. NIMS Industry Recognized Credentials.

Date: December 15, 2024 – August 1, 2026
Action Step: Workforce/Industry Short Term Training Workshops
Outcome: Up-skill job seekers or currently employed who need additional skills.

Date: December 15, 2024 – August 1, 2026
Action Step: K-12 Recruitment Tours of MTT Program
Outcome: Increase interest in MTT. Increase enrollment in MTT.

Date: August 1, 2025 – August 1, 2026
Action Step: Leverage Perkins Funds to purchase Metrology Equipment
Outcome: Students improve precision measurement. New content added to curriculum.

Date: June 1 – August 1, 2025
Action Step: Summer/Youth Camps
Outcome: Introduce K-12 Students to Machine Tool Programming

Date: June 1 – August 1, 2026
Action Step: Summer/Youth Camps
Outcome: Introduce K-12 Students to Machine Tool Programming

How will this project be promoted and acknowledged?

We will hang a Denso flag in our MTT lab and in the entry way to our campus, so that all TCAT Athens visitors are aware of our relationship and the financial support. We will also work with the local radio station to promote the MTT program and mention our Denso grant. Laser engraved items will have the TCAT Athens and Denso logo. TCAT Athens will use social media to share the grant and program information. We will also include materials at any community event to document our Denso support.

How will the success of this project be measured?

The goals of the project are to improve student skill attainment, increase industry recognized credentials being awarded, offer programming to up-skill job seekers or currently employed who need additional skills via short term training, and introduce more youth to Precision Machining and Tool & Die via camps and dual enrollment.
Increases in the following will demonstrate success of the project:
• Enrollment in the MTT program.
• Industry recognized credentials awards.
• Enrollment in short-term training.
• Enrollment in dual enrollment.
• Attendance at youth camps.

Identify objective(s) and then how you intend to measure the result. (Note: Grant recipients are required to report on these objectives supported with data, on an annual basis to the conclusion to the grant term).

The following are the specific objectives of the project and how they will be measured.

Objective: Increase enrollment in the MTT program.
Measurement: Program enrollment.

Objective: Improved hands-on experiences.
Measurement/Data Point: Student grades in labs. Certifications awarded.

Objective: Increase the number of NIMS Industry Recognized Credentials.
Measurement: NIMS Certifications Awarded.

Objective: Up-skill job seekers or currently employed who need additional skills.
Measurement: Number of attendees. Certifications awarded.

Objective: Introducing K-12 Students to Machine Tool Programming
Measurement: Youth camp enrollment. Dual enrollment attendance. K-12 Tours of MTT Program.

Section II: Financial Disclosure
1. List other project funding sources / major sponsors or contributors:
Source Amount Requested Amount Pledged Amount Received
Perkins Grant $45,000 $45,000 $45,000
2. Provide (or attach) a budget for the entire project if different from the request.
Budget Item Projected Cost
Table top CNC $13,500
3D Printer $11,500
Measurement Equipment (e.g. Surface Plate, Micrometers, Surface Plate, etc.) $20,000
CAD Upgrades: Computers to run/simulate CAD x 5 $9,000
CAD Upgrades: Monitors (2 per computer to run CAD) x 5 $1,200
Laser Engraver $5,500
Hardness Tester $2,900
DROs (2 Mill & 2 Lathes) $10,200
Mills x 4 $70,000
Future Students Dual Enrollment Recruitment & Retention $1,200
Total Project Budget$145,000
3. How would DENSO funds be allocated?
Item/Expense Amount
CAD Upgrades: Computers to run/simulate CAD x 5 $9,000
CAD Upgrades: Monitors (2 per computer to run CAD) x 5 $1,200
Laser Engraver $5,500
Hardness Tester $2,900
DROs (2 Mill & 2 Lathes) $10,200
Mills x 4 $70,000
Future Students Dual Enrollment Recruitment & Retention $1,200
Total Requested Grant$100,00
4. Please enclose a copy of the school or department’s annual budget (preferred) or most recent annual report for the institution.Denso-Grant-MTT-Budget-Grant-Budget.pdf
Section III: Institutional Information
Date Established1963
PresidentSusan Hatto
Dean, College of BusinessNone
Dean, College of EngineeringNone
Does the institution have a current or past relationship with a DENSO Company? If yes, please comment

Yes. We are currently working with Denso to resume a Tool and Die apprenticeship program.

If the institution has received DENSO funding in the past, please provide date, description and amounts

Fiscal Year 2020, Advanced Manufacturing, $150,000 - the money was for the program at the McMinn Higher Education Center (MHEC).

Does the University have DENSO-employed alumni? If yes, how many?None
Please Provide company/location if known.Denso Athens, TN
How did you hear of DENSO North America Foundation?Email from the foundation
The information presented in this application is accurate and complete. This application requires original signatures.
Another Project Explanation
  • I acknowledge if selected as a grant recipient, my institution has 5 business days to sign and return the Grant Agreement and provide electronic financial banking information to DENSO North America Foundation.
Proposal developed byKaleb Moser
TitleMTT Instructor
Supported and Approved by:Susan Hatto