Leaders of the four-county Highlands Economic Partnership celebrated the opening of the Highlands Training Center Tuesday.
The 5,500-square-foot building on Spring Street will be used for the Empower Upper Cumberland initiative. Director Megan Spurgeon said the center will train referrals to give them the core skills to transition into the workforce.
“It is phenomenal,” Spurgeon said. “It’s been a long time coming to have this grant come to fruition. We’ve been working on it for over a year and a half at this point. This ribbon cutting is a great milestone in this adventure we are going on.”
The building has space for classrooms to handle 8-week programs that cover resume building, emotional intelligence and professional skills. Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said the center will help improve a depleted work force.
“We need more people to get into the workforce, and this training center I think is going to reach out to those folks for whatever reason they are not in the workforce and get them training for whatever job is out there,” Porter said. “This is going to be huge not only for our county, but for the whole region.”
The center will start its work in February once referrals begin. It is made possible through a three-year pilot grant that created Empower Upper Cumberland. The overall goal is to bring some 800 families out of poverty.