California Prison Industry Authority, Rehabilitation

CALPIA awards 53 apprentice certifications

CALPIA apprentices sit at ceremony in a prison.
Nicole Collins, AGM Operations, speaks during the graduation at Mule Creek State Prison.

MCSP hosts ceremony for incarcerated participants

On May 12, The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA), in partnership with the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), recognized 53 incarcerated individuals as apprentices at Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP).

Through DIR’s Division of Apprenticeship Standards, incarcerated individuals received their apprenticeship completion certificates earned while working for CALPIA.

The men took part in one of two ceremonies recognizing the CALPIA graduates in:

  • Healthcare Facilities Maintenance
  • Fabric Products
  • and Coffee Roasting programs.

“What an honor to congratulate you all for a job well-done,” said CALPIA General Manager Bill Davidson. “The apprenticeship completion certifications exemplify dedication, knowledge, and the opportunity for meaningful employment when you return home.”  

Family, friends, and staff cheered on the graduates who were excited for this in-person ceremony.

“Our incarcerated population helps make CALPIA successful at this prison,” said MCSP Warden Patrick Covello. “Graduates, you are at the forefront, so keep moving forward. Congratulations.”

CALPIA became a Registered Apprenticeship Partner with DIR’s Division of Apprenticeship Standards, representing an impressive partnership among industry, labor, education, and government leaders, offering apprenticeship opportunities at every CDCR prison.

Incarcerated individuals obtain workplace knowledge, skills, and industry-recognized credentials through apprenticeship training. CALPIA’s registered apprenticeship program provides on-the-job training and job-related technical instruction.

The number of hours to obtain Journeyperson level varies by job classification, ranging from 2,000 to 8,000. In addition, all apprentices are required to complete 144 hours of “Related Supplemental Instruction” annually.

CALPIA apprentices look toward brighter future

Graduate Relious Carter received his apprenticeship certification in front of his proud daughter. 

“It means everything to me as I have learned how to operate and repair machines,” said Carter. “I have learned amazing job skills that I can take to the streets.”

CALPIA is a self-funded program providing 7,000 incarcerated individuals with life-changing job training opportunities, aiding successful re-entry into their communities.

“This program has taught me teamwork and not to blame others for a problem, but look together for a solution,” added Carter.

CALPIA increases public and prison safety while reducing recidivism. According to a recent University of California, Irvine study, by three years after release, only 15.4 percent of CALPIA participants had been returned to custody. 

The State Apprenticeship program started in 2018. Now, there are 2,241 incarcerated individuals registered in the program while 1,451 incarcerated individuals are completing an apprenticeship program.

“The apprenticeship certificate represents the highest level of competency in careers in their field,” added Davidson.  “We want our graduates to be successful when they leave so they can provide for themselves and their families with that ultimate goal of never coming back to prison.”

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