Lt. Governor Kleefisch; DOC, DWD, Gateway Technical College leaders address graduates
STURTEVANT – Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Jon Litscher, Gateway Technical College (GTC) President Bryan Albrecht, and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) leadership joined inmates and their families at Racine Correctional Institution’s (RCI) spring graduation ceremony.
Inmates are receiving degrees or certificates in the following fields:
- 5 General Equivalency Degrees;
- 21 High School Equivalency Degrees;
- 8 Culinary Arts graduates, who will receive a GTC certificate;
- 17 Custodial Services graduates, who will receive a GTC certificate; and
- 11 CNC machining graduates, who will receive a GTC certificate.
DOC has a self-contained mobile CNC lab that can be moved between DOC correctional facilities which has been parked at RCI since early 2015.
DOC received Wisconsin Fast Forward – Blueprint for Prosperity funding to provide CNC machining instruction to inmates at Racine Correctional Institution prior to their release. Inmates who are selected must have a clean record and must be within 18 months of their release. 16 inmates have previously graduated from the CNC program at RCI.
Milwaukee Area Technical College also received $703,500 in Wisconsin Fast Forward – Blueprint for Prosperity funding to provide CNC instruction for up to 48 offenders who are either on community supervision or have work release privileges in the Milwaukee area.
Lt. Governor Kleefisch said: “Today, these graduates get a second start in life thanks to this creative partnership between corrections and technical colleges. This program is a win-win as it addresses the workforce needs of Wisconsin job creators and the employment opportunities of these graduates. I am encouraged by the positive decisions made by these inmates to make the most of their second chance and look forward to them returning to better their communities.”
DOC Secretary Litscher said: “DOC’s core purpose is to enable inmates to receive the training and education they need in the institution to find a job in the community. Providing skills training in high-demand areas is vital to the continued success of inmates once they are released.”
DWD Secretary Allen said: “Under Governor Walker's leadership, the Department of Workforce Development continues to advance initiatives to help ensure that anyone who wants a job can find a job, especially as employers cite an ongoing need for skilled workers to fill openings. Today we highlight an innovative workforce solution that develops the skills of a talent pool whose ultimate success at being gainfully employed, taxpaying members of the community when they return from incarceration will result in greater public safety, fewer new victims, healthier families and a stronger Wisconsin."
GTC President Albrecht said: "Gateway is proud to partner with the Racine Correctional Institution to offer programs that develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today's job market. Graduates of the CNC boot camp program are in a stronger position to re-enter our workforce with solid job skills and build a brighter future for themselves, their families and our community."
In addition to DOC’s partnerships with Gateway Technical College and Milwaukee Area Technical College, DOC also recently started a pilot project with Madison Area Technical College to train inmates with work release privileges in Industrial Maintenance.