Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn visits Chester County to hear voices and concerns of the community

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Senator Marsha Blackburn visits with Chester County Middle School students during her visit to Chester County last week. (photo by Kendall Patterson)

Senator Marsha Blackburn visited Henderson on Wednesday Oct. 9 in order to listen to the voices, concerns and thoughts of the citizens of Henderson and Chester County on how the government can help resolve the issues within the community.
Sen. Blackburn said that she and the other senators of Tennessee are going to all the counties and communities, small or large, just to hear their concerns about government.
“I never speak for anybody else,” she said. “We think it’s important to sit down and hear about the issues like we did this morning. The education issues. The workforce issues. The broadband issues. The transportation issues.
Those are the things important to Chester County, and this is where they want us to put our attention.”
Blackburn started by stating how Tennessee is “doing a great job at closing the digital divide.”
Chester County Mayor Barry Hutcherson agreed with the statement, but also said that “It would be greatly appreciated if we could get it (broadband internet) all out in the county.”
Mayor Hutcherson also said that Chester County is working to get training for students who want to enter the workforce.
“The TCAT program that the state is doing is absolutely fantastic,” Blackburn said.
“We’re very optimistic with this. This is more than just talk. We’re educating our staff, students, families of making sure they understand the opportunities of going quicker to the workforce instead of a four-year university,” said Director of Schools Troy Kilzer II. “…This is going to be more affordable for our students and families to look at something viable as a career.”
Paul Martin said that he agrees that the county could use some more people going into craftsman jobs instead of going to college.
“It is incredibly difficult to hire somebody these days, even find somebody, while everyone is pushing going to college,” he said.
“We just have a whole lot of kids that shouldn’t be looking at college. They need to be looking at better paying jobs such as welders.”
Everyone agreed that industry is booming in Chester County and across the nation. Mayor Hutcherson’s only concern was that he hopes the county does not get behind on building residential areas.
“I would like to see more housing and apartments. I think we’re in need of it,” he said.
Blackburn suggested looking at HUD (Housing and Urban Development) grants that she gave him along with many other types of grants resources that can be useful for the county.