EPB helping generate brighter futures at Tyner Academy

For the last four years, EPB has partnered with Tyner Academy High School through Hamilton County Schools’ Future Ready Institutes program to support workforce development.

The EPB Institute of Technology and Networking–a small learning community within Tyner Academy High School–was developed to provide mentoring and training assistance to students pursuing careers in computer coding and information technology. 

An onsite learning laboratory includes a glass-walled area with computer server racks for project-based learning, a smartboard that can show information on large-screen displays throughout the classroom, and an area where students can use their Chromebooks for computer work. 

“A year ago, I wasn’t thinking beyond high school,” said Tyner student Christopher Hampton. “Being a part of the Future Ready Academy and working with EPB has me thinking about going to college and working in the IT field.”

EPB technology experts work with educators to develop project-based experiences that relate what students learn in class to real-world careers. 

Students have the opportunity to participate in summer workplace experiences and visit EPB worksites throughout the year to tour the Control and Operations centers and learn about the Smart Grid, fiber optics, Solar Share and other technologies.

In addition, the EPB Institute of Technology offers opportunities for dual credit and dual enrollment as well as preparation for technical certifications to give students a head-start in completing post-secondary educational requirements. 

“Engaging directly with students through Future Ready allows us to support them while also building up the pool of rising technology professionals EPB and other local companies need to serve our customers and the community,” said David Wade, EPB president and CEO.

Hamilton County Schools’ Future Ready Institutes were so successful in the first year of implementation that the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga recognized the program with the Community Impact Award.

In related news, Tyner Academy High School made headlines Aug. 18, when around 100 members of the senior class walked out of their classrooms to demand repairs and a new building. 

The students said the school at 6836 Tyner Rd. has become an eyesore. It was built in 1937.

The walkout by the students came after the 400 building, used to house freshmen, was closed so maintenance could be done to repair roof failure, “deferred maintenance needs” and other “structural issues.”

The student demands and widespread community support led to Hamilton County Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Nakia Towns’ announcement last week that $25 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund will go towards construction of a new Tyner Academy.

Students of the EPB Institute of Technology and Networking at Tyner Academy High School work in their high-tech learning laboratory.