Students at Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) have benefitted from the CADNet (computer-aided drafting and design) program, a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for many years now. This popular program trains students in computer-aided drafting while proving low-cost, quality services for TVA.

“This has certainly been a very beneficial program to students in our community,” stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell.  “It gives them some opportunities they might not otherwise have.  We appreciate this partnership with TVA.”

Through the CADNet School-to-Work program, NACC students are taught the advanced computer skills needed to become proficient at producing engineering drawings in the classroom.  According to TVA, CADNet is a training ground for tomorrow’s workforce who will need advanced computer skills to compete in a highly competitive job market.

Computer-aided drafting and design plays an integral role in the construction and manufacturing industries. A drafting technician bridges the gap between designers and manufacturers by using various computer programs to create 2D drawings and 3D models based on the rough sketches and calculations made by engineers, surveyors, architects and scientists. These drawings and models include complex technical details and specify the dimensions, materials and procedures required to produce and assemble the parts.

NACC Drafting and Design Technology Instructor Kelly Black also spoke about the partnership, saying, “The CADNet School-to-Work program offers hands-on field experience using 2D CAD skills that our students might not have access to otherwise.

Additionally, since the office is located here on campus, students have limited transportation requirements and have the flexibility to easily schedule their work hours around their other classes. This convenience makes the CADNet opportunity a great choice for students who need to complete co-op training but have other job, family and/or school obligations.”    

Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience while working with industry professionals throughout each project. College students also have the advantage of being considered for internship opportunities through the program. The Drafting & Design Technology program at NACC prepares students for entry-level employment as computer-aided drafting technicians. Training is focused on the application of critical thinking and problem solving by way of creative design.

"We are grateful to TVA for bringing opportunities to the northeast Alabama area through the CADNet program," stated Dr. Mike Kennamer, Dean of Workforce Development at NACC. "Many students have benefited from the work experience derived from the program."

NACC has seen many students become successful through this partnership with TVA, including former NACC student Chelsie Khan. As a dual enrollment student, Khan realized her interest in drafting and completed her associate’s degree at NACC shortly after graduating high school. Khan is now the Lab Lead for TVA’s CADNet School-to-Work on campus at Northeast.

For more information on CADNet School-to-Work, contact Chelsie Khan at cpkhan@tva.gov.

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