Construction unions, CALPIA partner to provide opportunities
In December, 48 incarcerated workers received diplomas or certificates during graduation ceremonies at California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) facilities. Each Career Technical Education (CTE) graduate completed the necessary steps that, following their parole, will lead to apprenticeships in the construction industry.
The CALPIA graduation closed out a successful 2009.
“These graduates are learning valuable skills that will give them a foundation for success as they transition back to the communities from which they came,” said Matthew Cate, CDCR Secretary.
With a recidivism rate at approximately 10%, the CALPIA CTE programs are among CDCR’s most successful vocational training programs. To increase the chance of employment, all CALPIA inmate employees are required to obtain a high school diploma or complete a GED within two years of beginning the program.
“By choosing to participate in CALPIA modular building and carpentry training, these graduates have built new prison space, learned construction skills, and significantly reduced their chances of returning to prison,” said Chuck Pattillo, General Manager CALPIA. “Rather than costing taxpayers an average of $49,000 per year for housing, the vast majority of CALPIA graduates will become law-abiding and taxpaying citizens.”
Skilled journeymen supervise and train inmates in various construction skills such as welding and ironwork, general labor, and finished carpentry.
After CALPIA graduation, construction unions assist parolees
In a partnership with CALPIA, the construction unions allow paroled ex-offenders to be eligible for placement in pre-apprenticeship jobs.
Participating unions include:
- Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
- International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers
- Northern California District Council of Laborers
CALPIA provides paroled graduates with a set of tools, a tool belt and union dues for one year. The effort helps the parolee be ready the first day of their new job.
The CALPIA Modular Building Enterprise operates out of a 30,000-square-foot facility at Folsom State Prison. The program has produced 86,000 square feet of new building space. These ISO 9001-2000 certified portable structures are manufactured, sold and transported for use at various prisons, juvenile centers and State agencies.