CALPIA Partners with Construction Unions to Provide New Opportunities for Recent Parolees
In Mid-December, 48 inmate workers at Folsom State Prison and California State Prison Sacramento received diplomas and/or certificates during graduation ceremonies at California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) facilities. Each Career Technical Education (CTE) graduate completed the necessary steps that, following their parole, will lead to apprenticeships in the construction industry.

“These graduates are learning valuable skills that will give them a foundation for success as they transition back to the communities from which they came,” said the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Secretary, Matthew Cate.
With a recidivism rate at approximately 10 percent, CALPIA’s CTE programs are among the CDCR’s most successful vocational training programs. To increase the chance of employment, all CALPIA inmate employees are required to obtain a high school diploma or complete a GED within two-years of beginning the program.
“By choosing to participate in CALPIA’s modular building and carpentry training, these graduates have built new prison space, learned construction skills, and significantly reduced their chances of returning to prison,” said Chuck Pattillo, General Manager CALPIA. “Rather than costing taxpayers an average of $49,000 per year for housing, the vast majority of CALPIA graduates will become law-abiding and taxpaying citizens.”

Highly-skilled journeymen supervise and train inmates in various construction skills that include welding and ironwork, general labor and finished carpentry. In a partnership with CALPIA, the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers and the Northern California District Council of Laborers allow paroled ex-offenders to be eligible for placement in pre-apprenticeship jobs.
CALPIA provides paroled graduates with a set of tools, a tool belt and union dues for one year so that they are ready the first day of their new job.
The CALPIA Modular Building Enterprise, operating out of a 30,000 square foot facility located at Folsom State Prison, has produced 86,000 square feet of new building space. These ISO 9001-2000 certified portable structures are manufactured, sold and subsequently transported for use at various prisons, juvenile centers and State agencies throughout the State.