A new program in Texas that helps prepare inmates for life after prison recently graduated its first class.
Fourteen inmates at the all-female Lockhart Correctional Facility, located about 33 miles to the south of Austin, now hold certificates for successfully completing a manufacturing training program sponsored by Austin Community College.
Don Tracy, director of Corporate and Community Education for Continuing Education Division at ACC, said that it was the school’s first time implementing it in the correctional setting.
“There are a couple unique things about it,” Tracy told The Center Square. “One, we launched the program – the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technical Program – at a women’s unit, and that’s unusual … and the second thing, we, in partnership with the Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area board, were able to leverage Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act federal training dollars to support the training that we did inside of the correctional facility. And that’s the first time that any of us are aware of in the State of Texas that the [WIOA] money has been used in a correctional setting.”