Central California Women's Facility inmates learned on-the-job construction skills while enrolled in a pre-apprenticeship program.

Central California Women’s Facility inmates learned on-the-job construction skills while enrolled in a pre-apprenticeship program.

By Lt. Brian Davi, AA/Public Information Officer
Central California Women’s Facility

The Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) and the Inmate Ward Labor (IWL) successfully graduated 14 inmates in the first female offender pre-apprenticeship program, which began on May 14.

The program consisted of a 30-week classroom component along with 40-hours a week of on-the-job construction training.

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CCWF graduated 14 women from the pre-apprenticeship program.

On Nov. 7, CCWF celebrated as the graduates wore their hard hats and stood before their friends, family, construction supervisors, CCWF administrative team and distinguished guests who supported them throughout their training.

Warden Deborah K. Johnson, CDCR Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Management Deborah Hysen, Construction Supervisor II Marty Haight and Isaac Camarena, from the Fresno Area Sheet Metal Workers, Local 104, Joint Apprenticeship Training Commission (JATC), each offered encouraging support during the ceremony as they congratulated the first female offenders for their completion of the program.

Camarena gave the graduates insight on the type of career the program could offer if they remained in the program once paroled.

“The IWL workforce at CCWF is very impressive.  These female inmates have embraced the educational component and actively participated while working on the job. Trades in general or construction are very profitable,” Warden Johnson said.

It all adds up to reduced recidivism.

“So, a lot of our female pre-apprentices if they continued to participate, will be able to take care of their families and be self-sufficient once they parole, which means they will not come back and the graduates can be positive members within our communities,” said Warden Johnson. “The IWL at CCWF is long overdue and I look forward to future classes, inmate participants and partnerships with other local construction unions in the future.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the graduates received their certificates of completion from Fresno Local 104 Sheet Metal Workers Pre-Apprenticeship, Certificate of completion for OSHA 10 safety training, CPR/AED certification, LEED Green Building Systems certification and operators cards for forklifts, reach lift and scissor lift.

You can also view the highlighted link below for more coverage on CCWF/IWL and the Pre-Apprenticeship program, as covered by ABC 30 Action News.

In September, CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard visited the facility. Read about it at http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2014/09/secretary-beard-visits-central-california-womens-facility-construction-site/

Read about a similar program, http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2013/11/calpia-program-prepares-female-offenders-for-construction-jobs/

(Editor’s note: Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)


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The graduates lined up for a photo with Warden Deborah Johnson and Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Management Deborah Hysen.


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