Workforce Development

The Workforce Development (WD) team provides meaningful community partnerships and learning opportunities for Correctional Industries (CI) workers so they can successfully reintegrate into society and rapidly engage with employment, training or education. The workforce development group has a strategic plan boasting three objectives. The first is to ensure every qualified CI participants is "work ready" and employable upon release. The second is to achieve post release employment as part of a unified employment plan developed by the program specialists in collaboration with the participants. Our final objective is to develop partnerships with community providers on job readiness, job placement, and training and education. Rapid attainment of gainful employment can help releasing men and women achieve success upon release. CI staff and supervisors act as role models and teach incarcerated individuals technical skills through on the job training, and also act as role models that workers can learn from through interaction and observation - reinforcing positive work habits and behavior prior to release.

Classes & Training

Correctional Industries offers a variety of classes and trainings depending on the institution and amount of time the incarcerated individual has before release. CI has also developed a strong relationship with the Department's education program which contracts with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. CI and Education work together to link industry jobs with instructional programs such as baking, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) for the workplace, technical design, upholstery and welding. Incarcerated individuals trained through CI's Trade Related Apprenticeship Coaching (TRAC) program, or by working with various organizations, can connect with union apprenticeship programs and earn specialized industry accredited certificates.

Soft Skills

To enhance “soft” or interpersonal skills, CI offers a special 20-hour class called “Makin’ It Work.” The class is designed to incarcerated individuals understand what employers are looking for. Participants develop the necessary thinking and positive behavior that helps ensure success while working for CI, as well as success in transitioning into the community. Modules include Thinking Straight, Keeping Self-Control, Solving Problems Logically and Handling Difficult Situations. While we have noticed that some participants already have some of these skills, their presence in the classrooms provides peer role models to others in need of refinement and application.

Roots of Success

This environmental literacy curriculum introduces incarcerated individuals to the green economy and an understanding of environmental sustainability. It aims to help participants become more successful academically, and create an awarness of the importance of green jobs in the economy.

Mock Interviews

Mock interview fairs bring employers and community partners inside prison walls to help incarcerated individuals practice their interviewing skills. It is our goal to organize and conduct regular mock interview fairs and experiences at designated institutions. These events provide a realistic job application and interview experience to participants who will release into the job market in the near future. It also presents a potential workforce to outside employers and represents the positive things individuals can do while they are incarcerated to prepare for work once they release.

© 2024 Washington State Department of Corrections — Correctional Industries