Funding secured for potential Workready facility

JACKSON, Tenn. — State and local leaders are taking steps to help workforce readiness.

State Rep. Chris Todd says he has secured funding for planning a West Tennessee Workready Lab Facility.

Jackson State

“Two hundred thousand dollars is budgeted in next year’s budget, starting July 1, and it is for the critical planning phase of the building itself,” Todd said.

If approved, the potential facility will be built on the Jackson State Community College campus.

Jackson State Community College President George Pimentel says this project has been in the works for five years. And the goal is to help businesses hire qualified employees.

“What do workers need? That is a part of our job, to make sure that students are learning that immediately translates into their profession,” Pimentel said.

Todd says turning a piece of the campus into a fully functional Workready lab not only will get people ready for the workforce, but it will also provide resources in other ways.

Jackson State

“Groups that provide either housing assistance or food assistance, unemployment, things like that. Hopefully a one-stop-shop for folks,” Todd said.

Pimentel says so far the facility is still in the approval process, but receiving the state funding puts them one step closer.

“There are a lot of open positions, and we need qualified people to take those positions. Our success and growth will be tied to whether we can supply the workforce that these companies need,” Pimentel said.

Todd says although the lab is still in its beginning phases, they expect both the planning and construction to take around two years.

That is when the workforce community can start reaping the benefits.

Pimentel says the facility is still waiting on approval, but they hope to have the project proposal approved soon.

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