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 It’s no secret that Tennessee, like much of the nation, has experienced a shortage of skilled workers in recent years – with high demands for more nurses, computer technicians, welders and other technical fields. In an effort to encourage more young Tennesseans to consider one of these many careers, TBR – The College System of Tennessee has premiered an original children’s book entitled “Let’s Explore Technical Careers.”

The 32-page book, written for children 4-8 years old, features Tommie and Tammie T-Cat, whose class at school is discussing careers. Through colorful original artwork and accompanying rhyming text, the pair go about talking with various career professionals and learning about what they do. Along the way, they meet a farmer, a nurse, builders, a robotics technician, an aviation mechanic, and many more.

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Shelbyville will be distributing the books in their service area, offering copies to schools, libraries, doctor’s offices, and other organizations. Training programs for all the careers featured in the book can be found at the 27 public technical colleges.

“We are so excited to offer this fun, engaging way for children to begin imagining themselves in the many possible technical careers out there,” said Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings. “I believe young readers will enjoy following Tommie and Tammie on their explorations, and parents may find it’s a great conversation starter.

“Asking children what they want to be when they grow up has long been a favorite exercise,” Dr. Tydings said. “Our hope is this book will give children a look at some career choices they may not have heard of before.”

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