California Prison Industry Authority

CALPIA graduate finds success at Caltrans

Man stands beside Caltrans truck.
Maynard Walker, who went through the CALPIA program, is now employed by Caltrans.

By CALPIA staff

A new inspirational video highlights the story of a formerly incarcerated graduate from the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) and his bright future with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Maynard Walker, who was incarcerated at the California Institution for Men for several years, took part in CALPIA’s Commercial Dive Program. He learned commercial diving, underwater welding, physics, physiology, blueprint reading, among other valuable job skills.

“CALPIA opens doors for those who participate in our programs and who want to find a career when they leave prison,” said CALPIA’s Acting General Manager Bill Davidson. “Mr. Walker is a shining example of why our job-training programs are so beneficial to helping incarcerated individuals change their lives for the better.”

Walker is open about his past and is looking forward to his future. He plans to spend time with his family, attend college for an engineering degree, and further his career at Caltrans.

Incarcerated individuals saw first-hand the reality of prison to employment with help from state agencies including CALPIA, CDCR, and Caltrans.

“We are fortunate to have such a quality person as part of our Caltrans team,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Caltrans is pleased to partner with CALPIA to help provide career opportunities to dedicated, aspiring individuals.”

In 2019, at California State Prison, Solano, representatives from the partnering agencies provided support to 39 incarcerated individuals as they took the Highway Maintenance Worker civil service examination. At the end of the effort, all 39 exam takers successfully passed the exam. Twenty-four men interviewed with 10 being chosen. Those 10 men received conditional job offers on the spot.

See the YouTube video on Maynard Walker’s journey,

Read more stories about CALPIA or visit the CALPIA website.