NOVONIX begins Future Ready Institute at Lookout Valley High School
Company President hopes student learning will help grow Chattanooga workforce
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Students at Lookout Valley High School are being presented with what local and state officials are calling an extraordinary opportunity — the chance to enter the workforce in an emerging field right from the comfort of their own campus.
NOVONIX President Daniel Deas and Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly expressed how excited they were tonight for students at the school.
In partnership with Hamilton County Schools, students can now be exposed to a growing industry and then help Chattanooga continue to grow, as well.
The school’s new Future Ready Institute now gives students a direct opportunity to enter into the emerging battery industry, as well as other innovative STEM fields.
Deas says the industry was one that initially couldn’t be found in the United States but believes those enrolled in the institute can help it grow.
“We’re trying to build a skilled workforce and one of the things that we decided was going to be very beneficial to us is to try to go into the high schools and get young people interested in this industry and battery science in general,” Deas said.
Deas says the curriculum for the institute is completely original and “dives deep” into battery chemistry, production material, and more.
He says those who graduate from the program will receive “preferential interviews,” starting pay at 20 dollars an hour, and other benefits when applying with the company.
“We want students to have a career with us,” Deas said. “We want to have a positive impact everywhere we go and we want people to know who we are and what we’re doing because this is going to be big. This is just the beginning.”
Tennessee Rep. Yusuf Hakeem says the “community should be pleased” for the opportunities available to Lookout Valley students.
With the support of their parents, the school, and NOVONIX, he has no doubt that they’ll succeed in the program.
Their success, he says, will then be felt throughout the Tennessee Valley.
“Workforce development, to say the least, will benefit from this,” Hakeem said. “I think it will be an example for other entities to want to do some things within the community. Everyone benefits. It’s a win-win situation.”
Deas says the Future Ready Institute at Lookout Valley High is just the first of its kind, for now, and that the plan is to further grow the program as the company further establishes itself throughout the community.