Opening of first Smart Factory Institute in the United States, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Press Release from Peak Performance, Inc.

Opening of first Smart Factory Institute in the United States, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Volkswagen Academy lends facility for manufacturing to prosper in southeastern states

Chattanooga, TN, July 8, 2021: Peak Performance Inc., along with the Tennessee Chamber/Tennessee Manufacturers Association and the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy announce the opening of the first U.S.-based Smart Factory Institute. The official opening date will be October 1, 2021, National Manufacturing Day. The Smart Factory Institute will be operated by Peak Performance Inc. in collaboration with the Volkswagen Academy Chattanooga, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, the Tennessee Manufacturers Association and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

The Smart Factory Institute is a U.S. institute that will provide manufacturers with connections, collaborative relationships and certifications for improving manufacturing processes by providing them with access to the latest technology in advanced manufacturing. The Institute is a part of a network of international academies, operated by the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy in Hanover, Germany, a joint project between Deutsche Messe and the Volkswagen Group Academy. Thomas Rilke, Division Manager of Deutsche Messe Technology Academy, said, “We are particularly excited about the opening of our first Technology Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As we continue to expand our global network, it was only natural to open a location in the United States, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. The exchange of key industrial technologies for the optimization of production processes between suppliers and users is one of our core objectives. The expansion of this network, which was formed through many years of relationship building, aims at collaborative, international marketing of the unique production knowledge from Germany and the USA, based on the current trends in industrial production.”

Since its inception in 2009, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy has built an international network of production technologies across the world. These academies, located in Hanover (Germany), Foshan, Nanjing, Jinan (China) and Port Elizabeth (South Africa, opening 2022) focus on specific areas of manufacturing technology and are used for organizing conferences, workshops and networking events, helping identify new business areas, providing worker training and helping transfer dual-track apprenticeship models.

Denise Rice, President & CEO of Peak Performance Inc., said, “COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of Industry 4.0 and the Smart Factory Institute will ease the transition for manufacturers by facilitating intensive networking between suppliers and users of key technologies to optimize production processes, leading the economic recovery of business and industry in the region. The Smart Factory Institute will provide remote and online, relevant, leading-edge training for manufacturing workers that will upskill and reskill workers for the jobs that the technology advancements bring.”

The Smart Factory Institute will allow all manufacturers the opportunity to experience and learn of newly innovated technologies to help ease the transition to new technological advancements in the workplace. Additionally, the Smart Factory Institute will work closely with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s Industrial and Organizational Psychology program to provide subject matter experts and best practices to approaching the workforce advancements that are a result of the upskilling of workers required by Industry 4.0.

Bradley Jackson, President & CEO of the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, said, “The Smart Factory Institute is a business-driven effort driving innovation and technology and positioning Tennessee as a true leader for advanced manufacturing technology. This is not just a remarkable opportunity for the Chattanooga area, but the southeast region as a whole. We are thankful for the strong support of this project by the Tennessee General Assembly, including the unwavering support of the Hamilton County legislative delegation. Their support sends the clear message that Tennessee is serious about advanced manufacturing.”


About Peak Performance: Peak Performance is a workforce training and advising firm specializing in incumbent worker training for the manufacturing industry, serving businesses across the country from their headquarters in Chattanooga, TN. Peak Performance empowers its customers to transform their operational strategy through comprehensive, sustainable solutions in people and processes. Their services are unique, customizing the training to their client’s needs, using real-world simulations and instructors from the manufacturing industry. For more information, visit .

About Deutsche Messe Technology Academy: The Deutsche Messe Technology Academy brings providers, users and knowledge partners together in a unique ecosystem of intelligent production technology. Their academies and their network serve the technological transfer of knowledge. Together with selected service partners, the Deutsche Messe Technology Academy offers a wide range of services in Germany, China, the USA and South Africa. Deutsche Messe Technology Academy wants to help ensure that your intelligent manufacturing solutions find their way into the world's future markets quickly and sustainably. For more information, visit .

About Tennessee Manufacturers Association: The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce also serves as the Tennessee Manufacturers Association and is the recognized affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. Like many other state associations that function as both the state chamber and state manufacturers association, they approach public policy with the belief that if things negatively impact manufacturing it harms all employers. As a broad-based business trade association, they maintain expertise and policy groups for a variety of industries and a proud history of unmatched advocacy in the state Capitol, having a hand in Tennessee’s most prominent business policy accomplishments. For more information, visit ,

About University of Tennessee at Chattanooga: The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a national model for metropolitan universities. In collaboration with many regional partners, they offer an experiential learning environment with outstanding teaching scholars in bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs. The Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master’s Degree program is known worldwide. For more information, visit , .

About the Volkswagen Academy: Volkswagen Chattanooga’s onsite training facility, the Volkswagen Academy, is home to secondary to post-secondary education programs. Based on a dual education system that combines vocational classroom education and paid on-the-job training, apprentices receive hands-on training in mechanical systems, electronics, welding and automated systems among other disciplines.

About Volkswagen Chattanooga: The Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant began production in April 2011, and currently employs more than 4,000 team members. Volkswagen Chattanooga assembles the Volkswagen Passat, the Volkswagen Atlas and the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The factory will become Volkswagen’s North American base for electric vehicle and battery pack assembly and will add the ID.4 to its assembly lines in 2022. For more information, visit .

If you are interested in learning more about the Smart Factory Institute, join us on Friday, August 13th at Noon (ET) for a 30-minute information session to learn about the benefits of membership, access to workshops, networking and other related opportunities.

View full official press release here.


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