There was a lot of excitement in the Workforce Development Lobby at Ivy Tech on Friday, as nine men were celebrated for their hard work.
“It was good, it felt really good. It’s one of the few times I actually got a certificate or even got to wear a graduation robe. So it was good,” said Zachary Pine.
For the past six weeks, Zachary Pine and eight of his classmates, have worked to earn a certificate in CNC Machinery from Ivy Tech; becoming the first group of offenders from Wabash Valley Correctional Facility to do so.
“It’s not even possible to explain how thankful all of us are for this. To get out and be able to get into a lucrative job like this quickly and that could be the difference to make or break us,” said Pine.
The men were transported from the correctional facility to Ivy Tech, so they could take classes; learning how to work on machines, in a high demand field.
“You’re pretty much 100% job placement. If you got the skill and you can demonstrate your skill, just the placement, I mean it’s almost 100% and we are always looking for skilled people,” said Austin Stark, IVY Tech Machining Instructor.
And not only did they pick up some hardware, they also gained valuable skills for the future.
“Employment is proven to help recidivism. We want these guys to have a job when they get out so they can support their families and children,” said Angela McLaughlin, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
Pine is grateful for the for the program, and hopes others in his position take the opportunity to better themselves.
“Take the time, put in the effort to make something of yourself, to get some type of certification, to get some skills, that you can take with you when you are released,” said Pine.
From all of us here at WTWO and WAWV, Congratulations to all the graduates.
As for Zachary Pine, he’s ready to keep on learning; he starts classes through Ivy Tech’s welding program on Monday, August 20th.