CIS Takes Manufacturing Skills Training to Jails

Inmates in several West Tennessee correctional facilities now have skills for a productive life outside of prison walls, thanks, in part, to the UT Center for Industrial Services (CIS).

The Skills for Success—Manufacturing program is funded by a grant through Gov. Bill Lee’s Reentry Act of 2021. The act created the Office of Reentry under the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and its aim is to help those in jail to lead productive lives once they are released.

CIS Training Consultant Keith Groves, far right, led some of the manufacturing skills training in the Dyer County jail.
CIS Training Consultant Keith Groves, far right, led some of the manufacturing skills training in the Dyer County jail.

The Office of Reentry partnered with the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board, the Southwest Tennessee Workforce Agency and CIS to provide skills training for inmates in the Hardin County jail. The 10-day manufacturing training boot camp for entry-level workers included classes on workplace skills, math for manufacturing, quality tools and techniques, and a 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety in general industry class. After the training, participants received a certificate from CIS, an OSHA 10-hour General Industry card and a Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technician Quality Practices and Measurement Certificate. They also are set up for an interview with a local manufacturing facility.

TLC Steps up in Disaster Response Planning

The Tennessee Language Center (TLC) partnered with the Nashville Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management on the Ambassadors for Disaster program. The program recruits ambassadors from migrant communities around Nashville who can serve as points of contact during the event of natural disasters, such as tornados and flooding. TLC provides employees to interpret for the program and to translate various materials for the community ambassadors.

SMART Advises Tennessee Counties

With Tennessee counties starting to see opioid settlement payouts from the lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, many of them have questions on how to spend the money.

Logo for Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee Policy Network (SMART).

The Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource of Tennessee (SMART) is advising counties around the state on how the payments work, when payments will arrive and what the reporting requires. SMART addresses county-specific information such as services available, what the county lacks and strategies to improve the overall recovery landscape.