Perry Perkins Advocates Technical Education

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Keith Owensby and Perry Perkins
Keith Owensby and Perry Perkins

Perry Perkins, candidate for County Commission District 7, said he wants to see options for technical and information technology trades for Hamilton County's youth. After touring Chattanooga's Electrical Training Center, a joint educational project of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 175 and the National Electrical Contractors Association, Mr. Perkins said the county needs to identify technical education programs that are already working. He said that schools can learn from the I.B.E.W.-N.E.C.A. partnership.

Mr. Perkins said, “I've visited all schools in the district, as well as the STEM school and the Middle College program at Chattanooga State. The key to developing facilities for schools like Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts and possibly a technical high school is showing local companies what they get from a well-educated and trained workforce. Businesses are willing to invest to get good workers. CSLA can remain a nationally recognized liberal arts school and have technical programs. This could mean computer programming, robotics, or other technology-based trades.”

The I.B.E.W. Local 175 endorsed Mr. Perkins on Monday in a letter to its membership. The organization also endorsed J.B. Bennett, Jim Coppinger, Jim Hammond, Larry Henry, Sherry Paty and Russell Bean.

Keith Owensby, assistant training director, said that the center's administration wants the next generation of technically savvy students to know what their center offers. “Future generations need to have the things our fathers had – good pay, benefits, and safety at work.”

Mr. Perkins said, “The partnership between the I.B.E.W. Local 175 and the electrical contractors shows how education, labor, and the private sector can work together. These are the types of programs that can be built into schools like CSLA. The STEM model also develops from the tried and true vocational education model because it is project-based.”

Apprentices in at the Electrical Training Center take an entrance exam and apply to five-year electrical program at no cost to to the apprentice. They receive a scholarship which is reimbursed from wages after the apprentice becomes employed by an N.E.C.A. member.

Barry Key, I.B.E.W. business manager, said “There aren't many places where people can get an education that doesn't use tax dollars. We have three hundred apprentices, at no cost to taxpayers.”

Mr. Perkins is a fourth-generation paint contractor with a B.S. in Criminal Justice from UTC. Mr. Perkins said, “I myself and a tradesman and artisan, and the endorsement of the I.B.E.W. demonstrates the importance of strong technical education for the county's future."


Tennessee Highway Patrol Accepting Applications For New Trooper Cadet Class

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) announced today it will soon open the application process for a new trooper cadet class slated to begin February 1, 2015.  Applications will be accepted online only from Wednesday, July 30 through Tuesday, August 5.       All applicants must apply online through the Tennessee Department of Human Resources ... (click for more)

Special Event Street Closures July 25-27

The street will be closed in front of 1222 Sholar Ave. from 12:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday for Jesus Fest. ML King Blvd. between Broad St.and Georgia Ave. and Market St. between East 8th St. and East 10th St. will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday for the Nightfall Concert Series.  The 800 block of Cherry St. will be closed at ML King Blvd. and will only ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)