Incarcerated students receive job certifications, apprenticeships
Folsom State Prison (FSP) held two graduations in one week for California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) job training programs.
The second graduation was a day of celebration at FSP, where 50 individuals participating in CALPIA received their industry accredited certifications and apprenticeships.
CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber, who also serves as Chair of the Prison Industry Board congratulated the graduates on a job well done.
“CALPIA and CDCR want you to be the next success story. I believe in second chances and the many opportunities that the California Model can offer you,” said Secretary Macomber. “I want to make sure that you have the opportunities to be the best person you can be.”
In front of family, friends, and staff, the graduates received their certifications in the following CALPIA programs: Computer Aided-Design (AutoCAD), Metal Fabrication, Heavy Machinery, Braille, Healthcare Facilities Maintenance and Pre-Apprentice Iron Worker.
CALPIA’s General Manager Bill Davidson recognized the graduates for their accomplishments and explained how CALPIA supports them every step of the way.
CALPIA shows commitment and dedication
“One thing remains constant and consistent for us at CALPIA, and that is our commitment and dedication to you,” said Davidson. “We exist for you, to prepare you for a successful life and career when you leave prison and to never come back.”
Acting Warden Tracy Johnson expressed her admiration to the graduates and said they are on the right track.
“We have expanded a lot of programs here at Folsom State Prison, including CALPIA and self-help groups,” said Warden Johnson. “You are leading and shaping the way for other guys to follow. I appreciate all your efforts and thank you all for your hard work.”
Two return to prison to share messages of hope, redemption
Two formerly incarcerated individuals returned to share their stories of success. Andrew Winn who is now the Executive Director for the Insight Garden Program talked about the struggles he had to overcome to succeed. Paroling in 2009, he made a commitment to never return. He earned college degrees at Sacramento City College and then at UCLA. Winn then became Director of Project Rebound at Sacramento State University, helping formerly incarcerated students.
“Make decisions that will last a lifetime. To get to where I am, it took a thousand small decisions, and never one big decision and that’s so important,” added Winn. “Just you being here today, you made a decision to earn your certification and there are going to be many more after that.”
Tommy DeLuna inspired the graduates by sharing his story. He is now a Life Coach for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. DeLuna returned to his community in 2019 and now helps the formerly incarcerated find employment and provides guidance to keep people from returning to prison.
DeLuna received his job certifications through CALPIA at California State Prison, Corcoran.
“I learned three lessons working for CALPIA. Never be late, always be on time. It took me a long time to get a job, but finally when I did, I was never late. Next, I learned to take pride in your work. Take pride not only when someone is watching, but when someone isn’t watching,” said DeLuna. “Quality control is real. It’s not just here in CALPIA. You can’t be cutting corners. I took pride in my work. I took so much pride that in my first job I was promoted to supervisor after two months.”
DeLuna continued, “The third thing I learned was to be competitive. Be competitive without stepping on the toes of others. You can do the best job you can do without putting someone down. Don’t step on another person’s toes, because that person might get promoted before you, and then the next thing you know, you’ve got some explaining to do.”
By Michele Kane, Assistant General Manager, External Affairs
California Prison Industry Authority