Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, meets with inmates enrolled in the Code.7370 class at San Quentin State Prison in 2015.

The California Prison Industry Board has approved $12 million to expand Career Technical Education (CTE) programs through the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) as part of a $237 million budget for 2017-18.

The expansion includes extending the highly successful Code.7370, Computer Coding program to Pelican Bay State Prison and the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, expanding a facilities maintenance program statewide, and increasing the number of pre-apprentice programs that partner with trade unions throughout the State.

“Expanding pre-apprentice programs is beneficial for CALPIA participants so they can be job-ready when heading back to their communities,” said Curtis Kelly, Prison Industry Board Member and Northern California Carpenters Regional Council District Manager, following the board’s June meeting.

“By working with journeyman professionals, participants learn the highly marketable skills of a trade, set the groundwork for future employment through the trade unions, and work toward a long-lasting, meaningful career,” Kelly said.

In Fiscal Year 2017-18, more offenders will benefit from the expansion of CTE programs as offender positions will increase by more than 135%, to 1,148 from 488.

“CALPIA’s CTE programs have the lowest recidivism rates in the state. When you increase rehabilitative programming opportunities for offenders, you increase the chances for them to be successful and decrease the chances of them returning to prison,” said Charles L. Pattillo, CALPIA’s General Manager and Prison Industry Board’s Executive Officer.

The CALPIA CTE program was established in 2006 and has a cumulative recidivism rate of 7.13%.

The program began as a pre-apprenticeship program with instruction being administered by journeyman instructors under contract from local trade unions representing Carpentry, Construction Labor, and Iron Working.  After completion of training, offenders are eligible to work for the trade unions.

CALPIA pays the initial union dues and provides a full complement of tools to offenders who complete the program.

CTE programs that CALPIA will establish or expand this fiscal year include:

  • 7370, Computer Coding – This six-month technology-based, training program is under the supervision of CALPIA instructors, technology business professionals and volunteers with the non-profit organization, The Last Mile. Offenders learn basic computer skills, coding instruction, website and application design. The Code.7370 program curriculum utilizes proprietary program architecture to simulate a live coding environment without Internet access. CALPIA’s Code.7370 program is offered at San Quentin State Prison and will expand to Pelican Bay State Prison and Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.
  • General Facilities Maintenance and Repair (GFMR) – This six-month training program will offer offender-participants to receive training in a diverse curriculum regarding building maintenance and repair. The training will enable offenders to qualify to take state employment examinations and apply for positions such as Custodian or Maintenance Technician with the Department of General Services (DGS) upon release. This new program will be established statewide.
  • Pre-Apprentice Roofing – This six-month training program operates under the supervision of CALPIA instructors and journeymen affiliated with United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. Offenders will learn principles of general safety, roofing repair, and familiarity with tools and materials of the trade. Graduates of the program may ultimately obtain employment with the Union upon release. This new program will be offered at Folsom State Prison (FSP).
  • Pre-Apprentice Construction Laborer – This six-month offender training program under the supervision of journeyman professionals working with the Northern and Southern California Construction and General Laborers Unions. Pre-Apprentice Construction Laborer graduates earn accredited certifications and are eligible for placement in full-scale apprenticeship programs upon release. This program is already operating at Folsom Women’s Facility (FWF), California Institution for Women (CIW), and San Quentin State Prison (SQ).  It’s being expanded to FSP, California Institution for Men (CIM), Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), and N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility (CHAD).
  • Pre-Apprentice Carpentry – This six-month training program operates under the supervision of journeyman professionals working with the Northern and Southern California Carpenters unions. Offenders learn blueprint reading, framing and general carpentry skills. After completion of training, graduates are eligible for placement in full-scale apprenticeship programs.  This program is already operating at FWF, CIW, and FSP, and will expand to CCWF and CIM.
  • Pre-Apprentice Iron Worker – This six-month training program operates under the supervision of journeyman professionals working with the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. The union instructors provide training in diverse curriculum including welding, metal work, hand tools, and other skills. Graduates of the Iron Workers program earn accredited certifications required by the union’s training center.  At FSP, the program is operating with an additional program to be added.

Additionally to the CTE programs, CALPIA will establish three new Technical Industry Education (TIE) programs in partnership with CDCR.

A Metal/Welding TIE program will be available at California State Prison, Solano and Avenal State Prison and an Optical TIE program will be established at Solano.