A Virginia automotive dealer, a local sheriff and a community college joined to train nonviolent offenders in the Norfolk City Jail as automotive technicians.

Dennis Ellmer of Priority Automotive said he believes the new Priority Technical Training Center can help put a stop to the revolving door at the Norfolk City Jail while helping his 21 auto dealerships in Virginia and North Carolina answer a nationwide shortage of auto technicians.

“This may seem like an unlikely partnership, but it just makes perfect sense,” Ellmer said at the dedication of the center, where Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appeared. “Teaching nonviolent offenders to make a good honest living is good for our communities, good for our law enforcement agencies, and good for Priority Automotive,” Ellmer said.