Pictured: Kim Gass, Ginny Kidwell, and Sheriff Pat Hankins
The Tennessee Institute of Public Health (TNIPH) hosted a breakfast on May 23, 2016
in Greeneville, Tennessee to showcase the highly successful Correctional Career Pathways:
A Journey to Hope project led by Greene County, Tennessee Sheriff Pat Hankins and
Kim Gass, Greeneville City Schools Adult Education Supervisor.
Other partners in this extraordinary project include DTR of Tennessee, ASG. LLC and
the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The event was attended
by elected officials, law enforcement, court officials, educators and advocacy groups
from the northeast Tennessee region.
TNIPH and the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health hosted the
program that was sponsored by the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program in collaboration
with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health
Institute. 47 inmates have started work at DTR of Tennessee, a local automobile parts
manufacturer, since last year. 57 men and women have completed a 40-hour class while
incarcerated to help prepare for a new life after release from jail. The initiative
was launched in 2015 with support from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce
Classes include instruction in life skills and areas like avoiding lifestyle traps.
Kim Gass is one of the program instructors and has been instrumental in its success.
Cal Doty, vice president of human resources at DTR, was the other key leader in this
initiative. Gass, Hankins and Doty all agree that it is the spirit of team effort
that has contributed to the overall success of the problem. TNIPH executive director
Ginny Kidwell announced a mini-grant to establish mental health awareness and counseling
opportunities for inmates participating in the program as part of the Regional Roadmap