Students turn sheet metal into art

Two Corcoran prison incarcerated students cut pieces of sheet metal under the gaze of the instructor.
Sheet metal students create landscaping art pieces for CSP-Corcoran.

CSP-Corcoran sheet metal program incarcerated students recently put their skills to work creating art to replace landscaping.

The beautification project came about in response to the historic drought, during which the prison removed water-hungry grass.

The barren ground needed attention so CSP-Corcoran Education staff and acting Warden T.L. Campbell developed an environmentally responsible plan.

The Sheet Metal Program students, who produce professional-grade work, jumped at the opportunity.

They designed, built and painted sheet metal plants, each one unique with different colors and sizes.

What is the Sheet Metal Program?

After being closed for 10 years, the program reopened in July 2019. Inmate students gain an entry level introduction to the construction and sheet metal industries.

All Building Trades are accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). The Office of Correctional Education (OCE) is an accredited Training Sponsor NCCER, offering incarcerated students the ability to develop specialized knowledge and skills required of craft workers and technicians employed in construction industries.

Completing the Sheet Metal Program requires 616 hours. All students will receive a certificate in Basic Safety, Your Role in the Green Environment, Core and Levels I / II, and they may receive their OSHA 10 card.

Incarcerated students get behind projects

Some of the longest participating incarcerated students are those serving life sentences.

The first to graduate will be student Jones. He said he’s thankful for the program and is getting the best out of it.

Jones showed much appreciation to Sheet Metal CTE Instructor Moises Flores.

“Flores has been a major help and motivates the class to get certified,” Jones said.

Another student, Haynes, aspires to find a nonprofit organization for the program to partner with. He hopes the program can continue to build plants to be sold or auctioned for the organization.

Haynes, serving a 15-year sentence, is looking forward to being released with his new skills.

“(My sheet metal skills) can be used for the good of the community and gain employment,” he said.

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