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."


Chattanooga Fire Department Stations Host Halloween Open Houses

There were some early visitors to the Chattanooga Fire Department’s Halloween Open House Friday afternoon. Ashley Kuehn brought her two kids, dressed in Halloween costumes that had a definite firefighter theme. Daughter Crimson wore a Dalmatian costume while Stetson wore custom-made firefighter turnout gear. The department’s Halloween Open House is officially from 6-8 p.m. on ... (click for more)

Bradley County Mobile Command Post To Be At Downtown Block Party In Cleveland

The Bradley County Mobile Command Post will be at Friday night’s Downtown Block Party in Cleveland. The first 3,000 children to stop by the Command Post, at the northwest corner of the courthouse, will receive a Bradley County Sheriff’s Office re-usable treat bag…filled with candy. Sheriff Watson invites one and all to visit.   (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Under Hard Freeze Warning As Winter Comes Early

The Chattanooga area was under a freeze warning as winter rushed in early. The biting weather came as crew members were about to hit the water for the annual Head of the Hooch at Ross's Landing. Here is the warning: ...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM EST /2 AM CST/ TO 9 AM EST /8 AM CST/ SUNDAY ... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Time To Fix The TIFs

What if Chattanooga policy makers and taxpayers used several recent business announcements as a wakeup call to learn more about how our community decides what companies get property tax breaks? If enough people accept this assignment, it just might result in the adoption of some sound policies and procedures to guide us in the future. We read in the newspapers this week that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In November

As the first day of November arrives today, it is cold enough in my garden to officially certify that fall has fell! There are even signs of ice on the ground but there is a bounty crop of acorns so, in keeping with our monthly tradition, some will get shiny acorns and others will get a chunk of cold ice: A SHINY ACORN for Patriots football coach Bill Belichick for scoffing at ... (click for more)