Henderson County inmates graduate with construction certification

LEXINGTON, Tenn. — A new opportunity is available for inmates at a local jail.

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Inmates at the Henderson County Jail are now able to graduate with a certification in construction and, hopefully, get out into the workforce.

“When they graduate this course and finish their sentences, this is going to allow them to hopefully gain immediate employment,” Henderson County Sheriff Brian Duke said.

On Friday, 11 inmates graduated from carpentry classes, held in partnership with several organizations including the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and the Tennessee Builders Education Foundation.

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“The focus of this program happened to be on carpentry, so they’re going to be able to work as framers. They’ll be able to work installing wood components in a house and actually building a house, said Don Glays, president of Tennessee Builders Education Foundation.

The inmates practiced on buildings at convenience centers in the county. Once they’re released, they’ll be able to move on to work on homes.

“We started this program because several builders in Henderson County told us they could start 50 houses tomorrow if they had skilled labor. The problem has been, the roadblock they’ve been facing, is that they haven’t been able to have people who can perform the skills required,” Glays.

The program has already proven successful, with graduates already in the workforce after their release.

“They’re taking this opportunity better themselves and further their education,” Sheriff Duke said.

Another class is already in session. Sheriff Duke said this is the first course in the Tennessee Builders Education Foundation has started in a county jail.

Categories: Local News, News
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