Gov. Bill Haslam announced a $694,000 grant to purchase equipment for training programs at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Dickson Monday. In a brief ceremony at the main campus on Highway 46, Haslam said the money is part of an additional $16.5 million put into the state’s post-secondary education budget for improvements. “It was specifically aimed at upgrading and providing more equipment and more opportunities at our Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and at some of our community colleges,” Haslam said. The governor said as he traveled across the state, he heard so many times how well the technical schools are preparing people to enter the workforce with specific skills. “People kept saying, ‘Everybody that comes through this program gets a job.’ And I said, ‘Well, why don’t you increase the classes more?’ And they said, ‘Because you haven’t given us the money to do it.’” Of the grant announced Monday, $534,170 will be used to fill critical needs for equipment in the industrial maintenance and electricity technology, mechatronics and machine tool technology programs at the Dickson and Clarksville campuses. The remaining $159,791 will go to the Clarksville campus expansion for equipment to help the pipefitting and welding and millwright programs achieve national accreditation. TCAT-Dickson Director Mark Powers told the students who filled the room that the grant money is for them. “It’s to buy equipment that we need to train you, to give you the skills that you need to go out to learn and earn a good quality of life for you and your family,” Powers said. The Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Dickson offers 20 full-time and specialty industry programs in Dickson and satellite campuses in Ashland City, Clarksville and Franklin.