By Inmate/Ward Labor staff

On the heels of the graduation at Central California Women’s Facility, Inmate/Ward Labor (IWL) recently recognized 31 inmates as part of the pre-apprenticeship program at the California State Prison, Solano (SOL).

On June 29, CDCR administrators at SOL and representatives from the local city and state unions presented 31 inmates with their Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) certificate. Each graduate also received certificates in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA-10).

As part of the MC3 curriculum, the inmates were involved in a variety of construction efforts throughout SOL. Inmates worked on the new clinic as part of the Health Care Facility Improvement Program (HCFIP). As a result of those efforts, the clinic is now completed and ready for activation. Inmates also worked on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) construction activities throughout the institution addressing accessibility needs for staff and inmates. Most notably though, many of the graduating inmates worked on a new vocational kitchen that will support the culinary arts at the institution once completed.

Since 2012, the MC3 has gained traction. At SOL, this is the third and fourth graduating class and with the 31 graduates, this is the program’s largest graduating class. Forrest Barton, Construction Supervisor II with IWL, serves as the statewide coordinator for CDCR’s pre-apprenticeship program. Before Forrest took over in 2016, he was affecting change at SOL. He is well-known among the inmate workforce there and many of the graduates thanked Forrest for his mentorship and opportunities he provided them.

“This is step one that you all have accomplished,” said Bob Jennings, Northern California Regional Director of the SBCTC and CDCR’s statewide Director. He continued by saying he is extremely confident that they will all one day be able to accomplish the dream of becoming an apprentice in the craft of their choosing.

SOL culture is present and vivid through the art form of murals on the walls. Associate Warden (AW) Robert Mitchell captured the culture and mission of the Department through his motivational speech. “Each one, teach one,” AW Micthell said. “No matter where you go, always look back to see if there is someone in need of help or struggling and in need of guidance.”

He continued by reminding all the graduates that someone looked back and helped them get here today. He left each graduate with the challenge of continuing that effort by helping someone else.