The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) hosted a graduation ceremony in partnership with CDCR at Avenal State Prison (ASP) on Jan. 26.
Sixty graduates received their nationally recognized job certifications and/or state-certified apprenticeships.
Incarcerated individuals obtain workplace knowledge, skills, and job training through CALPIA. The apprenticeship program qualifies graduates for meaningful employment once released.
CALPIA has established a partnership with the California Department of Industrial Relations – Division of Apprenticeship Standards, where participants can learn on-the-job training and job-related technical instruction.
CALPIA General Manager Bill Davidson shared words of encouragement.
“My hope is that you become a better version of yourself. As you have gone through the CALPIA program, you have demonstrated a number of things,” said Davidson. “Initiative and ambition, commitment and dedication, and the ability to work with others. These things are very important in a real-world working environment. I hope you take these skills and transition that not only for your remaining time at Avenal, but as you return to your communities.”
Acting Warden Martin Gamboa also recognized the graduates for a job well-done.
“Continue the hard work and dedication you have put into your time here at Avenal State Prison. I hope the best for you and your future. Congratulations,” said Warden Gamboa.
Family and staff cheered on the graduates. Graduate Alejandro Guijarro received his apprenticeship certification.
“I didn’t know a lot about having a work ethic, dealing with responsibility, or even communicating well with others. All these things I learned in CALPIA,” said Guijarro. “I took all of the knowledge and tools that were given to me and applied them to other aspects of my life.”
CALPIA programs reduce recidivism and enhance prison and public safety by providing incarcerated individuals with job training opportunities for successful reentry. 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.