TRICOR provides occupational and life skills training for Tennessee’s incarcerated population through job training, professional certification and coaching programs. We take a holistic approach and focus on the individual to ensure they have the skills, confidence, self-esteem and professionalism to successfully reintegrate into society and become productive citizens. We provide training in multiple industries and guidance on the importance of reliability, work ethic and respect in the workplace.
Below is an overview of some of our programs to assist offenders in their reintegration back into society:
Developing learning paths that are based on validated practices and matching skills with employer needs is in alignment with TRICOR’s mission to prepare offenders for success after release. TRICOR has uniquely positioned itself across the country as innovative in delivering programming that addresses the development of the entire person. TRICOR programming is continuously evolving; it can be replicated, sustained and improved as the needs of customers change.
TRICOR Worksite Coaching
The TRICOR Worksite Coaching model is a unique and transformative communication and behavior model that began with staff development in 2010, and was formalized with offenders in 2014. As staff has worked toward mastering the skills of transformative coaching, the model has become woven into the fabric of our culture. From developing the civilian workforce to developing the offender workforce, the daily and weekly coaching lessons can be heard across the state at TRICOR worksites in groups and in individual interactions.
Occupational Skills Training
TRICOR had 1,724 offenders in its Occupational Skills Training Program (OST) during the fiscal year. These offenders learned job skills relevant to current labor market demands, helping them to secure employment post‑release. A total of 1,414,089 hours of Occupational Skills Training was provided to the Offender workforce this fiscal year.
Building Trades, ServSafe®, and other certificates and certifications
TRICOR completed the third year of its Building Trades Program at the Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) this fiscal year. During the year, a new partnership was formed with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Nashville. Offenders are now registered as students at the college. Offenders continue to earn certifications from the National Center of Construction Education and Research (NCCER). These certifications are nationally recognized and enhance offenders’ opportunities for post‑release employment in a profession which has a bright future in the labor market.
ServSafe®, a national certification through the National Restaurant Association, can be earned by offenders at the Tennessee Cook Chill operation, TRICOR’s commercial food preparation and service program. This certification also enhances offenders’ post release employment opportunities in an ever-growing industry.
Other professional certificates and certifications include Forklift Operation, Dairy Sampler/Weighmaster, Milk Tester, and Live Stock Artificial Insemination (Cattle). TRICOR continues to evaluate additional opportunities for certifications to enhance offenders’ competitiveness in the market place.
Thinking for a Change
Thinking for a Change (T4C) is a cognitive–behavioral curriculum developed by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) that concentrates on changing the criminogenic thinking of Offenders. T4C is an integrated program for Offenders that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and problem solving skills. TRICOR has been teaching Thinking for a Change since 2004. In Fiscal Year 2013, NIC released its revised 3.1 version of the program. Over twenty TRICOR staff members, including the Chief Executive Officer, completed an intensive facilitator training program taught by NIC to become certified to teach the new curriculum. Since that time, 158 TRICOR Offenders have completed the 25 session course.
TRICOR offers Offenders Life Skills and Transitional Readiness classes that teach the basics of self‑sufficiency. TRICOR employs Field Service Coordinators that assist Offenders in finding jobs and social services after they are released.
TRICOR’s employment‑based Life Skills curriculum is a strategy to promote the successful reintegration of Offenders back into the community. It offers career assessment/development and emphasizes the behavioral and soft skills needed to obtain and retain employment: resume writing, job search, job interviewing, professional appearance and communication. The curriculum emphasizes steps to take in release preparation, such as identification reinstatement, family reunification, stable housing, and the appropriate use of community resources.
TRICOR Offender Preparedness Services (TOPS)
TRICOR’S TOPS curriculum is taught monthly to Offenders who are within 18 months of possible release. The program is an enhancement of the employability skills based Life Skills curriculum. TOPS is based on the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) series of Offender Workforce Development programming that TRICOR staff are certified to deliver. Curriculum includes classes in career exploration and development, computer use and money management. A mock re-entry exercise and a job/resource fair are also part of the curriculum. In addition to classes, TOPS features computers work stations that are used to improve Offenders’ skills in typing, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The computers also serve as Offender career centers modeled after the NIC career center format and practices. The centers contain career exploration information and activities, such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook, career assessments, career videos, and resume writing.
Transitional and Post Release Case Management Services
TRICOR’s transitional services are provided to Offenders who are on track to complete program requirements for post‑release services, and are within 18 months of possible release. Offenders meet individually with their assigned coordinators to plan their release and post‑release employment. Staff recruits community employers who will consider hiring Offenders post‑release.
If Offenders complete program requirements, they will continue to work with their coordinators after release on employment, including job search and placement, as well as job retention and release plan review. They will also receive community referrals as needed.
"I was working at Northeast Correctional Complex in an administrative position when I heard about an opportunity at Tennessee Cook Chill. I was hesitant at first, but when I heard that I would be cross trained in all the different departments, I knew I was up for the challenge. I started out in the labor pool, and then trained in the dairy, the kettle department, the bakery and shipping and receiving."
"In the beginning, it was mostly about the money. For the first time in my life, I had a bank account and a savings account. But I realized quickly that it was more than the money – it was the cross training, and the skills I gained. I knew that it would make it much easier to find a job after my release."
"I have been out now for three years. I have a great job that has allowed me to move up in the company. I am now a supervisor over six other men. My boss tells me that I am a leader and that I have great people skills. At TRICOR, I also learned to care about the customer. Without satisfied customers, my company would not be successful."
"I owe my new life to TRICOR and all the people there who motivated me and encouraged me. I would tell any other offender who is thinking of working for TRICOR to take advantage of all the opportunities that they offer to help you grow as a person, while learning valuable job skills. TRICOR is the reason I am successful today."
In 2011, Jason was selected to begin the new TRICOR Building Trades Construction Industry Program, located at Turney Center Industrial Complex. He earned nationally recognized construction certifications in CORE, Carpentry I and II, Plumbing, Electrical I and II. Jason participated in Building Trades for over four years. During this time, he said “working for TRICOR really seemed more like a free-world job than a prison job.
While in TRICOR, Jason completed the cognitive behavioral program: Thinking for a Change, and a transitional readiness class: TRICOR Life Skills. Asked why he liked TRICOR he responded, “TRICOR helped us prepare for release. The savings account was helpful, and I was able to get into a transition home.”
While preparing for release, Jason’s TRICOR Offender Service Coordinator helped submit his application, which led to his acceptance into a Nashville transition home. The coordinator also worked with him to access Nashville re-entry and employment assistance programs for after-care assistance. Jason is optimistic that his construction certifications will help him build a career.
Dennis entered the TRICOR program in 2009, where he trained and worked in the wood flooring program. For almost two years, he worked as much as he could, participated in TRICOR’s Personal and Career Development Support Program and completed TRICOR’s Life Skills and Successful Living Plan. He also developed a savings account so that he could be prepared and self-sufficient once released.
That release came in January 2011, and Dennis quickly became employed by a limousine service before starting his career in construction. He continued to use his network of support and the TRICOR offender services coordinator as a support system. When asked about the benefits he received from TRICOR, Dennis said it was his time working in the wood flooring plants, where he earned and saved money to support himself after release. And while money was very important, the coaching and mentoring support he received from his offender services coordinator, mentors, and positive support systems have made the difference in sustaining his success. Currently, Dennis is the owner of a home improvement company with eight employees. Dennis believes in giving back as some of his employees are returning citizens.