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Tennessee Technology Center receives grant for retraining

Tennessee Technology Center receives grant for retraining

Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 11:39 am

The Messenger 11.19.08

The Tennessee Technology Center at McKenzie has received notice from the Department of Labor that they will receive a grant to retrain 24 Martin Industries employees as licensed practical nurses.
The grant will pay for two instructors and all the supplies and expenses associated with the class.
The class will be held in Martin from Jan. 5 through December 2009. Individuals from Martin Industries who want to get into the class should call (731) 352-7506 to start the enrollment process. Students will have to pass the NET (Nursing Entrance Test) and complete the application process.
Elizabeth Check, director of the Technology Center and author of the grant, said the timing on this grant is helpful.
“We are combining resources from this grant and lottery scholarships to ensure that the employees will not have to pay for tuition or books,” she said. “Books alone are over $2,000 for each student. They should also have some unemployment compensation to help them pay their bills. The program is only one year and they may be able to get by financially while they are in training.”
Over 150 people will be displaced when the Martin business is completely shut down. At this point, 90 workers are left at the Martin facility but they will be gone by December, a spokesman said. Some employees have applied for admission into both the Technology Center’s Business Program and the Industrial Maintenance Program located on Highway 45 North.
“We have a campus … in Weakley County and it was important to us and the employees to find jobs that keep workers in Weakley County,” Ms. Check said. “Health care is a big departure from the work they did at Martin Industries but it should be stable, well paid employment. We are happy to be able to bring this opportunity to Weakley County.”
The U.S. Department of Labor makes funds available to assist employees whose employment is affected by foreign competition. The Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA) has made this grant to the McKenzie Technology Center to enable employees to retrain.

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