On June 4, 2010, Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations opened the Volkswagen Academy, an innovative training center that will prepare employees for work at the Chattanooga plant, host an advanced vocational program and provide meeting facilities for outside groups. The center will promote personal growth for workers and will provide opportunities for those seeking employment, working closely with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Tennessee Technological University to ensure that local talent are exposed to Volkswagen early on.
The Volkswagen Academy features modern classroom facilities with contemporary technology found in the finest university settings, but also features all the aspects of the manufacturing facility on a smaller scale to allow for hands-on training. This dual educational track is designed to help workers prepare mentally and physically, so that when they enter the plant they are experts in their field, whether it is the body shop, paint shop or the assembly shop. The facility has 163,000 square feet of space that houses a conference center, LEAN center, automotive center, automation center and vocational skills center. It contains 19 classrooms, a cafeteria with seating for 100 people, a gift shop and a coffee shop.
Partners in the project include: the State of Tennessee, Chattanooga State Community College, Tennessee Technology Center, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.