Komatsu: Shaping Chattanooga’s Future Workforce

Komatsu America Corp., a leading heavy equipment manufacturer, recognizes the importance of investing in communities and sustaining workforce pipelines.

The company has furthered Chattanooga’s economy through innovating, designing and manufacturing heavy equipment for more than 30 years.

As North America’s second-largest fully integrated construction equipment manufacturer and supplier, its commitment to creating value extends beyond products toward creating a sustainable future where people and businesses thrive.

Recently, Komatsu’s Chattanooga Manufacturing Operation (CMO) and Chattanooga State Community College’s Polytech created the area’s first state-certified pre-apprenticeship program – opening doors for high school seniors and bridging gaps between traditional education and industry experience.

Inside Komatsu’s Certified Pre-Apprenticeship Program, local students develop skills under the guidance of seasoned Komatsu technicians. This mentorship coexists with conventional high school classes while offering students the opportunity to earn income. Students work four hours a day, five days per week and receive pay of $15 per hour.

To qualify for the program, students must take several high school manufacturing classes and have OSHA-10 certification. Through this program, students are eligible to begin full-time apprenticeships in industrial maintenance or welding at Chattanooga State after graduating high school.

Flexibility is a cornerstone of the program, aligning with participants’ goals and aspirations – whether students seek foundational experience in industrial skills or aspire toward a future within an industry-recognized corporation.

These initiatives help meet immediate talent needs of businesses while laying foundations for our region’s long-term economic stability. It also align with broader workforce development goals found in Chattanooga Climbs.

Corporate workforce partnerships like Komatsu’s Certified Pre-Apprenticeship Program ensure that businesses have continual access to a skilled workforce capable of meeting the industry’s evolving needs. The program’s commitment to fostering local talent also offers opportunities for individuals to learn from experienced professionals in a structured and supportive environment.

By bridging the gap between education and industry, Komatsu is shaping a skilled workforce and empowering a new generation of workers to thrive in Chattanooga’s manufacturing sector.

Interested in exploring a corporate partnership at your company?

Contact Christina Henderson, talent development director, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce: [email protected].

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