State Senator Ed Jackson and State Representative Chris Hurt joined local elected officials, TCAT-Ripley and Lauderdale County Schools staffs, and Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) Executive Director Mike Krause for the presentation of a $75,000 check from THEC under its Supporting Postsecondary Attainment in Rural Counties (SPARC) initiative.  The funds are designated for a dual enrollment welding program between TCAT-Ripley and Lauderdale County Schools.  Located on the Ripley High School campus and open to juniors and seniors at both Halls HS and Ripley HS, the welding program will be operational in Fall 2019.  Judge Brandon Gibson, senior advisor to Governor Bill Lee and a West TN native, and Lou Hanemann, THEC Director of External Initiatives, were also in attendance.