A $200,000 grant will allow Tennessee College of Applied Technology to expand its program at Warren County Jail, allowing more inmates the opportunity to earn certifications behind bars.
“I wrote the grant for the county,” said Brooks Young, who works at TCAT and wrote the grant for Warren County government. “County Executive Jimmy Haley did most of the work. I came in toward the end because he needed someone who had experience in grants to actually write it. I didn’t write it as a TCAT employee. I did it because they needed someone to do it. It was definitely a county project spearheaded by Mr. Haley.”
Last year, TCAT partnered with Warren County government and Upper Cumberland Workforce Development to create a new training program available to inmates at Warren County Jail. Created was a two-week program where the inmates could be certified in six different skills.
Some of the skills taught include how to convert fractions and decimals into measurements like gauge, micrometer and slide caliper measurements.
Awarded through the Office of Criminal Justice Program with the state of Tennessee, the grant will be used to expand those opportunities at the jail.
“This grant will provide access to equipment in the training facility. The goal is to teach skillsets that align with machine technology,” said TCAT interim president Nathan Garrett.
The TCAT, Warren County government and Upper Cumberland Workforce Development partnership aims to prepare inmates for their future when they are released. Inmates sometimes have a difficult time finding a job once they are released from jail. Having certifications will give them a better chance landing a job once they’ve completed their sentences.
“Our goal is to utilize their time in jail to learn industry trade skills,” said Garrett.