Training program

Clarksville-Montgomery County IDB and Sheriff’s Office Partners in Training Program for At-Risk Populations

CLARKSVILLE, TN – The Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board (IDB) is pleased to partner with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Clarksville, to launch a Smart Start training program to meet the needs labor reviews.

The program is designed to provide skills and training to “at risk” individuals who come into contact with the justice system. Two cohorts of ten students were selected by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding certification.

The IDB received a “Critical Workforce Needs” grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to fund much of the initial program and plans to measure program success by a 90% completion rate and reduced recidivism rate among the attendees.

“This is a unique opportunity for the IDB to help the underserved population of Clarksville-Montgomery County and meet local labor needs through an innovative partnership,” said Shea Hopkins, Clarksville-Montgomery County IDB Director.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office launched a reinvigorated Inmate Programs Initiative (IPI) in December 2021. Our goal was to collaborate with community stakeholders with an interest in our community. Our goal is to reduce recidivism rates by providing people who come through our local criminal justice system with tools to make positive behavioral changes coupled with real job skills for successful reintegration into our community.

We want this IPI to be more than just a release of members into our community; rather provide the essential skills for successful reintegration.

“After incarceration, it is often difficult for those to reintegrate into society. One of the main hurdles is the ability to earn a living wage which is markedly different from being employed. Participation in our current inmate programs initiative as well as this 60-hour MIG welding certification course will increase the chances of successful reintegration,” said prison administrator Joe Thomas.

Our multi-faceted inmate services include the use of a comprehensive assessment tool, an evidence-based “Course Change” program, facility reclassification standards, attendance at workshops such as readiness training (IRT) and now the MIG welding certification course.

“I am proud of the results I continue to see coming out of our Inmate Programs Initiative. As a community, we all gain when individuals leave the criminal justice system to become stable, positive contributing members of our community,” said Sheriff John Fuson. “It is our goal and our desire to continue initiatives like this and see them flourish in the months to come. I appreciate the support and dedication of the IDB and all of our stakeholders.