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Ceremony Held for Women Inmates in Lockhart Graduating from Certified Production Technician Training Cohort Funded by WSRCA

Brian Hernandez
Aug 24, 2019
Posted by: Brian Hernandez

Ceremony Held for Women Inmates in Lockhart Graduating from Certified Production Technician Training Cohort Funded by WSRCA

A ceremony was held at the Lockhart Correctional Facility to celebrate the graduation of 14 women inmates from the first Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) program at the facility, funded by Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area (WSRCA), and delivered by our training partner, Austin Community College Continuing Education.

“I’m not the same person who walked in here 4 years ago. This certification has built up my confidence. It has given me hope,” said program participant Misty Campbell. “I’m ready for another chance. I am stronger this time. I’ll do better.”

The pilot program was made up of four MSSC assessments leading to a full CPT credential, which is industry recognized and provides instruction on the core competencies of manufacturing production in order to raise the level of performance of entry-level production workers.

The training was funded through WSRCA’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program and utilized existing manufacturing equipment located in the facility’s prison industry area.

CPT Program Graduate Casey Brem

WIOA programs are designed to help job seekers secure the employment, education, training and support services necessary to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to
compete in the global economy. 

Every year the core programs that form the pillars of WIOA help tens of millions of job seekers and workers connect to good jobs and acquire the skills and credentials needed to obtain them. 

With the implementation of WIOA, the Texas workforce system will continue to be a market-driven system, responding to the needs of employers and preparing workers for jobs that are available now and in the future.

“I couldn’t believe they would offer this opportunity first to women. They rarely if ever offer things first to women,” said program participant Alison Albanese. “We are just so grateful. You don’t know how grateful we are.”

CPT Program Graduate Celebration

The certification will assist the participants in finding higher-wage jobs upon release, by demonstrating to employers that they have the foundational skills needed in the areas of safety, manufacturing production & processes, quality practices and measurement, and maintenance awareness, which supports a company's productivity and competitiveness.

Some of the target occupation in the program include: Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers.

“We all make mistakes, and these are someone’s mother or future mother—someone’s sister or daughter,” said Lockhart Senior Warden Jennifer Brown. “These women deserve every opportunity to become all they can be, improve their circumstances and have a second chance at improving their lives.”

The participants were supported throughout their training by a team of WSRCA Talent Development Specialists, Melissa Gutierrez and Maggie Vazquez, who will continue to work closely with the graduates upon release, to review career options with local employers to leverage their certifications.

Speakers at the ceremony included WSRCA CEO Paul Fletcher, TWC Commissioner Representing Labor, Julian Alvarez, Lockhart Correctional Facility Senior Warden, Jennifer Brown, and ACC Continuing Ed. Director, Donald Tracy.

“Today tells us what can be done when thinking outside the box happens with people with big ideas and big hearts,” said Commissioner Alvarez. “With a 3.4% unemployment rate in Texas, this is precisely the way we become innovative in our thinking and solve a shortage for skilled workers. Everyone deserves a second chance and these hardworking and inspiring women today only reinforce that message in magnitude.”

CPT Program Graduate with Family

With our regions low employment, and the skills and determination to succeed shown by these participants, they will be re-entering the workforce at a time when career opportunities in the Manufacturing Industry are plentiful, especially right here in our 9-county Rural Capital Area.

"It was an honor to help celebrate with these graduates and their families as they accomplished this milestone in their personal and professional lives," said Fletcher. "We believed in them, and they leveraged this opportunity to up skill to enhance their opportunities. This manufacturing certification program came as a result of listening to the workforce needs our industry partners, and then tapping into our strong community partnerships to deliver training solutions. We’re proud of its success, and that of these dedicated graduates."

WSRCA would like to recognize our Board Member, ACC Continuing Ed. Executive Dean Hector Aguilar, and ACC Continuing Ed. Director Don Tracy, who did an amazing job working with Senior Warden Brown and her team, to make this training a reality. 

We would also like to thank ACC for presenting WSRCA with a Certificate of Appreciation for our role in facilitating this training.

WSRCA CEO Paul Fletcher accepting a Certificate of Appreciation from ACC's Don Tracy
WSRCA CEO Paul Fletcher accepting a Certificate of Appreciation from ACC's Don Tracy

Of the 14 participants who enrolled in the certification program, 100 percent of them completed the training and earned their CPT certifications.

Here’s an outline of the training and coursework the students completed:

Certified Production Technician (160 contact hours) Coursework:

Module 1 - Production

  • Section 1: Introduction to Manufacturing and Processes
  • Section 2: The Production Process
  • Section 3: Manufacturing Essential and Instruments
  • Section 4: Lean and Six Sigma
  • Section 5: The Business Basics
  • Section 6: Supply Chain
  • Section 7: Machine Fundamentals

Module 2 - Safety

  • Section 1: Introduction to OSHA
  • Section 2: Managing Safety
  • Section 3: Walking Working Surfaces
  • Section 4: Fire Safety and Exit Routes
  • Section 5: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Section 6: Hazard Communication
  • Section 7: Electrical Safety
  • Section 8: Hand and Power Tool Safety
  • Section 9: Machine Guarding
  • Section 10 Lockout/ Tagout (LOTO) Safety
  • Section 11: Ergonomics
  • Section 12: Powered Industrial Trucks
  • Section 13: materials Handling and Rigging
  • Section 14: Bloodborne Pathogens

Module 3 - Quality Practices

  • Section 1: Introduction to Quality Management
  • Section 2: Measuring Process Quality
  • Section 3: Quality Improvement Systems
  • Section 4: Industrial Print Reading
  • Section 5: Problem Solving

Module 4 – Maintenance Awareness

  • Section 1: Maintenance Principles
  • Section 2: Mechanical Systems
  • Section 3: Electrical Systems
  • Section 4: Fluid Systems
  • Section 5 Maintenance Safety

See media coverage of the ceremony: