By Mary Bondar, CALPIA External Affairs

On July 11, the Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF) had its first graduation of Pre-apprentice Construction Labor participants from California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA)’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program.

The 15 CTE graduates completed the necessary steps to receive both CALPIA certification and trade union certification in Construction Labor.

Upon parole, the graduates are eligible to become apprentice laborers with the Construction and General Laborers Local 185. Local 185 is one of several trade unions that provide instructors and curriculum for CALPIA’s CTE program.

Caption: From left, Jay Virbel, Associate Director of Female Institutions; FWF Associate Warden Robin Harrington;  CTE graduate Ana Castro;  Deborah Hysen, Deputy Director of CDCR’s Division of Facility Planning, Construction and Management; Folsom State Prison Warden Rick Hill and (back) CALPIA General Manager Charles Pattillo.

CALPIA CTE participants are 83 percent less likely to return to prison than general population offenders.

Also honored at the ceremony were 35 Inmate Ward Labor participants who performed construction on the re-activated facility.

Deborah Hysen, Deputy Director of CDCR Facility Planning and Construction was the keynote speaker. Also in attendance were Folsom State Prison (FSP) Warden Rick Hill and FWF Associate Warden Robin Harrington.

CALPIA provides paroled graduates of its CTE program with a set of tools, a tool belt, and pays for a year’s union dues, so graduates are ready to begin working upon parole.

FWP graduaton

From left, Jay Virbel, Associate Director of Female Institutions; FWF Associate Warden Robin Harrington; CTE graduate Ana Castro; Deborah Hysen, Deputy Director of CDCR’s Division of Facility Planning, Construction and Management; Folsom State Prison Warden Rick Hill and (back) CALPIA General Manager Charles Pattillo.