Wisconsin’s Lakeshore Technical College will play a key role in a pilot program to educate inmates.
Reducing the chance of former inmates becoming incarcerated again is the goal of the program launching in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties. Lakeshore is part of a consortium with Bay Area Workforce Development and Great Lakes Training and Development. The three organizations will work together in providing individuals with general work readiness skills, welding training, services for transitioning smoothly into the community, and post-release employment services and case management.
“As a partner in this pilot program, we are confident the individuals we work with will see education as the path to a brighter future for themselves and their families,” Lakeshore President Paul Carlsen said. “We also look forward to this program helping fill the continuing need in our community for skilled workers.”
Lakeshore will fill two instructional roles in the program. The first is to provide instruction in basic work readiness skills such as communicating, problem solving and writing. Resume writing, interviewing and financial literacy skill development also will be provided.
The second role is to provide welding training. Welding was selected because it is a high-demand skill offering family-sustaining wages. Also, it can be taught within the one-year or less timeframe individuals typically spend in county jail. After incarceration ends, former inmates can obtain advanced welding education leading to more and higher-paying job opportunities.
The instructors will bring portable training equipment to the jails for hands-on welding training. Lakeshore also will work with jail administration to provide laptops for inmates so they can complete some course material.
Together with Lakeshore, Great Lakes Training and Development will provide employability skills, soft-skill training, and financial literacy development to help the participating individuals transition back into the community. Great Lakes will also provide employment services and case management.
Bay Area Workforce Development will coordinate the program and monitor its results through June 2022.
The program is funded through several grants, including a newly awarded $75,000 Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development grant.
This article was originally posted here.