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."


PHOTOS: Kyle Avenue Strut On Lookout Mountain

Children and their methods of conveyance were the stars of the Kyle Avenue Strut at Lookout Mountain, Tn. (click for more)

North Market Street Closures Announced For Utility Work

The southbound and center lanes of North Market Street will be closed from  8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  on  Monday through Wednesday, for a utility project at 109 N. Market St. Traffic will be detoured west on Kent Street, then south on Velma Street, east on Cherokee Boulevard, and back to Market Street.  In order to view a map of all closures, ... (click for more)

Boy In Critical Condition; Another Person Stabbed And Man Shot In Dispute At Apartments On Citico Avenue

A boy is in critical condition after being stabbed on Sunday afternoon in what police described as a dispute between neighbors. One other person was stabbed and a man was shot in the melee in the 2700 block of Citico Avenue. The injuries to the second person stabbed and the shooting victim were said to be not life-threatening. the incident happened at the City View Apartments. ... (click for more)

Woman, 25, Shot On Dodson Avenue Early Sunday Afternoon

A 25-year-old woman was shot onDodson Avenue just after noon on Sunday. Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were notified at 12:13 p.m. by a local hospital that a victim arrived with a gunshot wound. The shooting reportedly occurred in the 1300 block of Dodson Avenue. Shaday Millener arrived at the hospital in a personal vehicle with a non-life threatening ... (click for more)

Patrol Cars Donation To Kevin Muhammad's Nation Of Islam Sets A Dangerous Precedent

Re: City Police donating two patrol cars to Kevin Muhammad's Nation of Islam: While I know it's unpopular to mention the wisdom of separation of church and state, this sets a dangerous precedent and should meet with concern from everyone who values religious and secular freedom. What's next? Southern Baptists getting old city parking scooters to patrol church parking lots ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanks A Lot For Nothing

Somebody should have gotten an award last Tuesday when a 90-minute “education summit” involving our school leaders, politicians and media produced absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Oh, there are a number of candidates we could give an award for “nothing,” both in our school district and on its fringes. Yet to find Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen brought her high-and-mighty ... (click for more)