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Carpentry Program Provides Job Skills and Community Support in Colorado

CoreCivic | 2/24/23 8:00 AM

CoreCivic’s reentry programs are a catalyst for changing people’s lives. This is especially true at Crowley County Correctional Facility in Olney Springs, Colorado, where a carpentry program offers participants the chance to give back to their community while also learning valuable job skills.

Student-inmates in Crowley’s woodshop program learn fine carpentry skills through a four-year journeyman program, in which they take raw materials all the way through the process of constructing cabinets and trusses. Thanks to CoreCivic’s partnership with WeBuild, finished products are donated to homes for families in need of affordable housing.

“Building cabinets has provided me with a reason to get up each morning,” said one individual participating in the carpentry program. “There, I am given a task to complete at my own pace and ability. Gone are the wires, walls and worries of prison. They are replaced with purpose, pride and peace.”

In addition to making cabinets and trusses, student-inmates in Crowley’s carpentry program learn foundational skills to develop careers in construction. Those who complete the course are awarded a certificate by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), a non-profit foundation whose mission is to address workforce shortages facing the construction industry. The organization is recognized as having the skills needed to be successful in the construction field on a national level.

These industry-recognized certificates (IRC) are often a crucial step in securing a job once released. In fact, a groundbreaking 2013 study by the RAND Corporation found that inmates who participate in vocational training in prison are 28 percent more likely to be employed after release.

“I feel like a changed man,” said another participant. “When I am released, I’ll have true skills that will help me maintain a job and an all right living. This is a very important program for many offenders, and many (former participants)… are using this trade.”

CoreCivic facilities offer an array of robust reentry programming to support returning citizens as they prepare for post-release employment.

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Topics: Reducing Recidivism