2020 Apprenticeship TN Conference


During this 2-hour virtual conference, you will hear from employers in various industries on how they utilize Registered Apprenticeship Programs to develop a strong and skilled workforce. The conference will also provide insights, connection to resources, and information about incentives for employers focused on enhancing your employees to the next level, no matter the size of your workforce.  

Please plan to join us on November 10, 2020, at 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. CST (10 a.m. -Noon EST).  Whether you know a lot or nothing about Registered Apprenticeship Programs, this conference is right for you!


Kenyatta Lovett currently serves as the Assistant Commissioner of Workforce Services with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Most recently, Lovett served as Executive Director of Complete Tennessee; the nation’s first statewide advocacy organization focused on raising college completion and degree attainment. Under his leadership, the organization created programs to foster local ownership of the state’s progressive reforms in higher education. The nonprofit also shined a spotlight on issues affecting access, quality, and equity in postsecondary education. Lovett led an aggressive agenda to encourage greater student success for all Tennesseans, regardless of race, background, or circumstance.

Lovett’s past career experience includes time as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community College Initiatives for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). While at TBR, Lovett worked to implement the community college system mandates guided by the Complete College Tennessee Act. He also managed the $1.3 million budget to standardize processes across 13 community colleges. The Tennessean recognized him as one of five key people integral to the successful launch of the Tennessee Promise, the state’s initiative to cover tuition for high school graduates attending a community college.

Before TBR, Lovett held the position of Chief Staff and executive assistant to the president of Volunteer State Community College.

Lovett earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy & Administration and Master of Business Administration in Supply-Chain Management from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Lovett’s professional focus continues to be on executive leadership, public service, change management, and public finance. He has a goal to continue his mission of encouraging social mobility by helping to strengthen the state’s workforce pipeline and support greater equity and diversity throughout the industry.


Nathan Garrett serves as the Interim President at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and the Director of Apprenticeship for the Tennessee Board of Regents. In his role, Nathan is responsible for the leadership of TCAT McMinnville along with growing TBR’s role in the registered apprenticeship arena.

He is no stranger to workforce development.  Nathan has been working collaboratively with Chambers of Commerce and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development on statewide initiatives.  Some partnerships include companies such as The Nashville Airport Authority, JR Automation, The JM Smucker Company, Haas Automation, Delta Airlines, Mitsubishi Materials, Carrier Corporation, and Greenlee Tools where he developed and delivered an industry-specific curriculum. Prior to his current roles, Nathan served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Economic and Community Development. 


Heath McMillian is the Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development and the Director of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) at Northeast State Community College's Kingsport campus.

Heath leads the RCAM staff in facility operations, including apprenticeship delivery and development as well as customized industrial training and credentialing.  He also sits on the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Advisory Committee that ensures RCAM meets the training needs of industry in northeast Tennessee.   

McMillian has over 16 years of manufacturing experience, including management of production and maintenance teams. He holds an AAS in Instrumentation and Automatic Control Systems from Northeast State Community College, a BBA from Montreat College, and an MBA from East Tennessee State University.  McMillian is a graduate of a Department of Labor apprentice program with specialties in welding, pipefitting, and millwright principles. 

McMillian also has been trained in LEAN manufacturing principles with certifications from the University of Tennessee's Haslam's College of Business and Mckinsey and Company. He has implemented 5S and LEAN into the pipe fabrication shops for Eastman Chemical's largest manufacturing site with these certifications.


Jeff joined Eastman in 1980 and completed his “General Mechanic” apprenticeship program in 1983.

Since 2017 he has served as the TN Operations site Training Services Manager, responsible for manufacturing training for the site operations employees. 

Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Director of Training and Development for the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) with Northeast State Community College located in the Kingsport Academic Village.


Larry Dickens is the Tool and Die Apprenticeship Training Manager for North American Stamping Group. He has an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering and has worked in the Tool and Die field for the past 41 years.  He has a passion for sharing what life has taught him with the next generation of skilled workers that will work to keep America competitive in the global marketplace. 

Larry has been married to his wonderful wife Ruth for 26 years and together they have a beautiful daughter, Haley, who is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee Martin.


Trey leads and manages a team of Sales Managers, External Wholesalers, and Advisors across Individual Life Insurance, Individual and Multi-Life Disability Insurance, Corporate Owned Life Insurance, 401(k) Advisors, Investment Advisors, and Relationship Managers. Trey recruits and develops advisors by creating a performance sales culture using core fundamentals including activity models, pipeline tracking, and target producer marketing. Heighten professionalism by supporting Advance Designation Education. Establish new relationships to enhance Life, Individual Disability Insurance, and Investment sales in Career Agency.

Registered Representative & Investment Advisor of Park Avenue Securities, Financial Representative of Guardian



Jon Dougherty is a Nationally Certified Electrical Inspector through the International Association of Electrical Inspectors and holds licenses as an Electrical Contractor and/or Master Electrician in over 40 states.

With over 20 years of experience in training electricians, Jon is a Certified Continued Education Provider for licensed Master Electricians and Electricians in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Ohio, a Certified Instructor for ABC Associated Builders and Contractors, and an approved instructor for IEC Independent Electrical Contractors. He has been employed with Amteck for over 25 years and has served as the Education and License Manager, conducting apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship courses, for over 10 years.

Since 1977, Amteck has built a reputation of delivering a quality product, in a cost-effective manner, while maintaining a safe work environment throughout a project’s duration. With customer satisfaction as their primary goal, Amteck delivers the latest in cutting-edge technology in the electrical contracting industry.


Ms. Smith was recently named the Director of Business Services for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Workforce Services Division.  Administered in the Programs and Operations Unit, Business Services is one of several programs that develops policy and implements federal programs, with the intent of the strategic goals of the Tennessee Workforce System, that meets the needs of Tennessee’s employers.  Those federal programs include the Workforce Opportunity Credit, WOTC; the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, WARN, system; Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessments, RESEA; and the Eligible Training Provider List, ETPL.  With a team of experienced subject matter experts, Lisa was recently tasked with transforming the state’s business services operation into the primary resource to employers across the state for strengthening their workforce pipeline.

Ms. Smith came to the TNDLWD from the College of Business at Tennessee State University (TSU), where she was the Director of Experiential Learning & Career Engagement.  Heading one of the University’s newest areas, she was the first to assume the role with a combined 15+ years of process management and career and corporate engagement experience.  She developed and implemented experiential learning initiatives; developed employment prospects into an internship and full-time placement opportunities for students; conducted employability coaching; and coordinated onsite hiring.

Prior to her role in Career Engagement, Lisa was named the first director of the supply chain program for the Department of Business Administration. In her tenure 16 corporations partnered with the program, almost 200 alumni graduated, and over $1.5 million was raised to support scholarships, graduate assistantships, student work-study, student case competitions, and other professional preparation for students.  The program hosted two supply chain conferences and developed numerous mutually beneficial partnerships from the Academies of Nashville to the CIA.

A Kentucky native, Ms. Smith holds a Master of Public Administration from the Baruch School of Public Affairs at CUNY, New York and a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Kentucky.