TDOC Offers Electricians Certification At NWCX
TIPTONVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) is addressing a nationwide labor shortage by offering a unique certification program to men at the Northwest Correctional Complex. The new electrical vocational program is aimed at providing access to career opportunities for offenders upon their release from prison. Students will be able to earn a National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER) certification while learning a variety of employable skills including proper tool use, wiring techniques and other basic foundations of electrical work.
“My dad is an electrician by trade, and now I know I’ll be able to step into it when I leave here,” said Cody, who participates in the program. “My dad is impressed with what I have learned here, because it’s not just book work, we do things hands-on too.”
Students in the electrical program work on projects around the compound as part of the 1250-hour course and they must have a high school diploma or equivalent to participate in the program.
“The work is very diverse in what you do day-to-day. I do general maintenance here and I enjoy the work and the instructor. Every day is a learning experience, and we get to build on our skills,” said Morris, who has progressed to such a high-skill level, he is now eligible to perform a higher level of work at the facility.
Jason Daniel, who has been the instructor of the electrician program for 13 years, says this is more than just an electrical program. “I am here to better lives by teaching a skill that builds a foundation and changes their life, instead of running the streets,” said Daniel. “I hope they learn from me; the way I treat them, they will treat others. You treat people good, good will come back to you.”
Rehabilitative programming and offender jobs such as the ones offered in the electrical program teach inmates responsibility, work ethic, and marketable skills while promoting stability and reducing idle time while incarcerated.