CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF)- A study of "Automation Mechatronics" was not even imagined a few months ago, and now Chattanooga State and Volkswagen have graduated their first class.
It consists of a duel education system that produces a special level of technicians.
The Volkswagen Plant Wednesday honored the achievements of the first 12 students.
The governor of Tennessee came down from Nashville to participate in the graduation of 12 Automation Mechatronics students.
It's an indication of how much importance the state places on special training like the V-W plant is offering.
GOV. BILL HASLAM, TENNESSEE "We look at this partnership as not only being good for this situation, being something that can teach us other for them to run. This class represents folks who have made the most of a great opportunity."
MAYOR ANDY BERKE, CHATTANOOGA "Volkswagen, because it knows that the most important thing it can do is invest in the people...has made sure it has put together its on program..a way to bring German style knowledge and education to our city."
Building quality automobiles requires special training in many areas. This class is now qualified to work at any V-W plant .
IAN GWALTNEY, CLASS VALEDICTORIAN "This group was selected out of 67 applicants. Twelve dedicated and hard-working individuals are here today. The 12 of us have persevered through 3 years of a challenging new program."
Automation Mechatronics includes classroom education and on the job training at Volkswagen. They are now promised jobs paying 40-thousand dollars a year.
The Volkswagen CEO says these programs are possible because of a special relationship with local and state leaders.
FRANK FISCHER, CEO., VOLKSWAGEN CHATTANOOGA "The willingness of everyone involved went above and beyond the others to clear any obstacle to our success."
The students are the first in the United States to be fully-accredited by the German Chambers of Commerce.
The Volkswagen plant is proving to be good for area communities also.
A supplier has announced it is buying a Shaw Industries plant in Lafayette to produce acoustic insulation for the carmaker.