DOC Communications, 608-240-5060
FOR MATC: Ginny Gnadt, Senior Public Relations Specialist, 414-297-6770
MILWAUKEE – Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch joined Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Jon Litscher and Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) President Vicki Martin at a graduation ceremony for Machine Tool – Manual Mill and Engine Lathe Certificate graduates and their families as they received their certificates of completion on December 21, 2017.
Twelve participants incarcerated in minimum-security facilities with community privileges in the Milwaukee area completed the program.
In addition to DOC’s partnership with Milwaukee Area Technical College, DOC is operating a pilot program with Madison Area Technical College to train inmates with community privileges in Industrial Maintenance and a mobile lab with Gateway Technical College to train inmates in CNC machining at Racine Correctional Institution. DOC has established other partnerships with technical colleges across the state to train inmates in a number of high-demand fields.
The 2017 – 2019 biennial budget includes new funding to expand and enhance vocational programming at DOC facilities to train inmates in skills that employers are seeking to fill open positions throughout Wisconsin. As of this week, there are approximately 90,000 available jobs statewide on JobCenterofWisconsin.com. The budget includes $1.5 million to expand vocational training at DOC facilities, $500,000 to expand the existing Windows to Work program, and $1.1 million to expand DOC’s mobile classroom program.
Lt. Governor Kleefisch said: “We know what sets someone up for success upon reentry: a job, and with it a sense of purpose for each day, a community of coworkers and friends, and a stable income that provides for stable housing. My heartiest congratulations to these graduates as they put the past behind and embrace the future ready for a good-paying job in a high-demand career field.”
DOC Secretary Jon Litscher said: “Due to Wisconsin’s historically low unemployment rate, employers contact us on a regular basis seeking trained, skilled inmates for good-paying jobs in the community. We believe that training programs like this provide a significant benefit to offenders seeking a path to becoming a productive citizen in the community and employers seeking skilled workers. We look forward to building on these efforts in close collaboration with businesses to train inmates for good-paying careers. ”
MATC President Vicki Martin said: “Milwaukee Area Technical College is proud to work in partnership with the Department of Corrections and with the U.S. Department of Education to prepare students for a new and different chapter in their lives. Programs like these – often coupled with further education at MATC – have helped students advance to careers in some of the region’s top employers and I look forward to hearing about the future successes of the men we recognized during Thursday’s ceremony.”