JACKSON, MS – Mississippi Department of Corrections is beginning another program to help inmates get good jobs when they leave. Tomorrow, Friday, December 17, 2021, Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain and staff will unveil a MOBILE WELDING TRAINING CENTER that can be used at all state correctional facilities. The 53-foot-long 18-wheel trailer houses eight high-tech welding simulators to train inmates for careers in welding.
“Mississippi is working hard to reduce the recidivism rate,” said Commissioner Cain. “One of the main reasons inmates come back when they’re released is they have inadequate job skills. We can help them overcome this with training and that keeps our communities safer.”
Deputy Commissioner of Re-entry Programs Pedro Moreno added, “We started our re-entry program by asking what kind of jobs do Mississippi businesses need? How much do they pay? And what’s the timeframe on the learning curve? Mississippi’s manufacturing and construction industries are doing well so MDOC is matching our vocational training with workforce needs.”
The mobile classroom will move between state prisons every 90 days, long enough for inmate apprentices to become certified. Instructors can train 32 inmates a day. The mobile center saves the state the expense of constructing training buildings at each prison and it was built with no taxpayer funds. MDOC, Mississippi Prison Industries Corporation (MPIC), and the Veterans Career Training Education Center refurbished a Mayflower moving van to create the mobile unit.
“We will be training welders, both men and women,” said Moreno. “We are first opening up the program to women at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. About 100 have applied so far. And then MDOC will also be instrumental in helping them get placement once they’re paroled.”
Commissioner Cain, Executive Deputy Commissioner Karei McDonald, and Deputy Commissioners Moreno, Jeworski Mallett, and Nathan Blevins, along with CMCF Superintendent Marcus McClure will be on hand to cut the ribbon. The event will begin at 11:00 A.M. Friday December 17 at the CMCF Administration building in Pearl.