Corrections-Based Vocational Training Programs
Reincarceration costs are between $870,000 and $970,000 (almost $1 million) less for those who receive correctional education.
Vocational training or career technical education programs in prison are designed to teach inmates about general employment skills or skills needed for specific jobs and industries. The overall goal of vocational training is to reduce inmates’ risk of recidivating by teaching them marketable skills they can use to find and retain employment following release from prison. Vocational and technical training programs can also reduce institutional problem behaviors by replacing inmates’ idle time with constructive work (Wilson, Gallagher, and MacKenzie 2000). In addition, some vocational training programs can assist in the operation of prisons by having inmates assist in institutional maintenance tasks.
There are several obstacles that incarcerated adults must face upon their release from prison, including the prospect of unemployment. A lower level of educational attainment, an absence of a steady history of employment, and a lack of vocational skills can hinder efforts to find a job and make a decent wage. Providing educational programming and vocational training to adults while they are in prison can help them overcome these challenges by fostering the skills needed to find employment (Davis et al. 2014).
The eligibility criteria to participate in vocational training will differ by institution. Correctional facilities may consider the inmate’s age, the current offense, time to release, scores on standardized tests, and any in-prison infractions, among many other factors. Some institutions require inmates to complete a certain level of education (usually a high school diploma or General Educational Development [GED]) before participating. This is to ensure that inmates have the basic skills and abilities needed to complete training (Lawrence et al. 2002).
Vocational education can be offered in various trade industries, including barbering, building maintenance, carpentry, electrical trades, painting, plumbing, food service/culinary arts, horticulture, custodial maintenance, upholstery, auto detailing, masonry, welding, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The type of vocational training available in a prison will depend on inmates’ interests, availability of teaching staff, and funding.
Inmates may be connected with prospective employers through vocational training or apprenticeship programs. In addition, some vocational education programs include opportunities to work hours toward industry-recognized credentials and certificates. In a recent survey of state correctional education directors, Davis and colleagues (2014) found the most commonly reported trade certifications were in construction, occupational safety, plumbing or electrical apprenticeships, automotive service, and welding certification. More than half of the respondents also reported that they offered Microsoft Office certification, illustrating the perceived importance of teaching inmates about general computing skills. College credit may also be earned for some vocational training programs at the postsecondary level. This post will walk you through the Autodesk ATC Program.*
Training Inmates in Autodesk CAD Programs Gain Traction
The opening of a new technology training center at Folsom State Prison’s Women’s Facility in California this October marks a milestone in a three-year-old program that is the only authorized Autodesk-certified CAD training in a state prison. The center offers CAD and computer-coding classes for women preparing to leave prison, training a potential new pool of workforce talent for the engineering industry.
Chuck Pattillo, general manager for the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA), says he approached Autodesk in 2014, looking to add to CALPIA’s Career Technical Education (CTE) program. Working in collaboration with unions, CTE launched in 2006 and offers training in ironworking, general construction skills, facilities maintenance and commercial diving.
In 2014, CTE added computer coding to San Quentin State Prison and CAD to Folsom. “We were looking for another specialty that would transform into a job, and CAD is such an important one,” says Pattillo. “We reached out to Autodesk.”
The program includes AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit. Students must have some computer and math skills and a general education certificate. They also must have at least two years left on their sentence and no violations in the past six months.
AutoCAD and Inventor are a combined course that takes about six months to complete; Autodesk Revit also takes six months. In a presentation at Autodesk University last month, Misty Dyas, a CALPIA Autodesk-certified instructor, said 128 women have earned 160 certificates, with 29 in all three programs. Fifty have since been paroled; so far, none have returned to jail.
Dyas listed a dozen firms and schools for which they now work. The recidivism rate for CTE graduates is 7% as compared to nearly 50% in general, says Pattillo. When a parolee doesn’t return to jail, it saves the state $72,000 a year in housing costs, he notes. There are a variety of hiring incentive programs available in the state for potential employers.
Without state aid, CALPIA funds the CTE program with its revenues from products created through CALPIA programs, for $360,000 a year to train 56 inmates. Aside from CTE, CALIPA offers more than 40 other kinds of vocational training for about 8,000 offenders. CALPIA’s board in July approved an additional $12 million to bring computer coding and Autodesk CAD training to male offenders at Pelican Bay State Prison and coding to Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.
The Autodesk Training Center (ATC) Program
Autodesk is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction (AEC), manufacturing, and the media and entertainment industries use Autodesk software to design, visualize, and simulate their ideas before they are ever built or created.
Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art 3D software for global markets and works to combine the resources, ideas, and creative thinking of trailblazing companies, keeping its products and solutions on the leading edge of performance and value.
From blockbuster visual effects and buildings that create their own energy, to electric cars and the batteries that power them, the work of Autodesk 3D software customers is everywhere you look.
The Autodesk apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android, are today making design technology accessible to professional designers with technology originally built for movie studios, car designers, and architectural firms, and making it available to anyone who wants to create and share their ideas with the world.
Autodesk customers and students will perform faster, smarter, and better with Autodesk software products when they work with the Autodesk Authorized Training Center (ATC) partners, the premier Autodesk channel for delivering authorized, instructor-led training. The North American Partner channel for Autodesk Member Training Partners (MTP’s which are typically Unions) and ATC Correctional Institutions are managed by ThinkEDU, the distributor of Autodesk select ATC and MTP Programs for Canada and The United States of America (North America).
Benefits for an Autodesk Authorized Training Center (ATC)
Key benefits of Program for the ATC program include:
- An inexpensive, compliant, program that includes ability to obtain software licenses
- Utilize Assent training curriculum and the Partner discount Assent extends to our ATCs
- Ability for instructors and exiting offenders to participate in our Instructor Development Portal and follow learning paths to become an Autodesk Certified Instructors.
- Ability to manage and deliver professional Autodesk Certification, which is a personal and professional benefit for departing offenders
Alignment with an industry leader
ATC Learning Partners can take advantage of the Autodesk brand equity. Using the Autodesk completion certificates, site certificates and marketing/branding such as email, web banners, signage and posters, means you can capitalize on the power of the Autodesk brand to help maximize your credibility and value.
Career and technical education programs across the United States equip students with marketable 2D and 3D design skills by teaching them to use state-of-the-art Autodesk® design software.
Autodesk Certified User certification confirms students have the skills necessary to continue their design careers—whether they attend college, enter the workforce or work toward additional levels of industry certification after graduation.
ATC Partners can take advantage of the increasing demand for certification by becoming a Certiport Certification Center or Pearson Vue Certification Center. Autodesk exams are available worldwide, attract new customers interested in validating their skills by earning certifications, and create a customized learning path to help them achieve their goals while growing your training business. Combining training and certification ensures that you provide a total solution to your customers.
Technical product training and support
As an ATC Partner, you can attend many technical training events for the newest Autodesk software releases. ThinkEDU will provide you the support you will need to be successful. In addition, you have access to Autodesk product support specialists to assist with installation and licensing problems.
Autodesk works with suppliers to offer ATC Program participant discounts discounts from the Autodesk Authorized Publisher network and you will also gain access to the Autodesk Learning Central.
Get the most recent training software updates. ATC Partner sites receive training licenses with unique serial numbers. ATC Partner sites also gain access to the most up-to-date software.
With access to beta software ATC Partner sites know about future releases long before the competition, so you can better prepare instructors for future releases.
The value for an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI)
The Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI) Program ensures every ATC Partner delivers exceptional standards of training – not just in technical skills, but also in the soft skills of how best to teach by understanding learning styles and how to work with different levels of learning requirements.
The Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI) Program provides comprehensive online technical training resources, and a unique pedagogical workshop. Accreditation is only the first step in the global Instructor accreditation program and those who choose to can progress to the best of the best of ATC instructors with access to Autodesk Learning Central.
The Instructor accreditation program brings tangible benefit to your business because the ability to train well isn’t only about technical training.
The Program helps you achieve a level of training ability that makes a standout difference to your students, enhances your relationships with your customers and helps your business performance.
Added value of the ATC partner network with ThinkEDU, LLC
ThinkEDU, LLC is the distributor of Autodesk ATC Programs for Canada and the United States of America and proactively drives the North America program by strategic leadership and operational implementation to help the ATC partner network achieve success, and to meet their business obligations to Autodesk. ThinkEDU provides the infrastructure and service resource that the ATC partner network needs. As a well established and successful business supplier to the learning and training industry, ThinkEDU is experienced in solutions delivery.
Partner Support Team
A team of Partner Support Managers and Associates are available to help all ATC Partners with queries and service requirements. You will get access to a comprehensive communications program via a dedicated and exclusive ATC Web Portal, plus regular emails and webinars to proactively announce initiatives and to provide information on products, training guides, beta testing opportunities and much more. You will also be able to provide feedback in a quarterly survey of the ATC Partner channel which seeks your views and asks you to rate our performance as your service provider.
Marketing and PR
There is an extremely active marketing and public relations program promoting both training and certification; initiating industry press coverage through thought leadership, opinion articles and case studies. We discuss and debate with the key industry press to enhance industry credibility and recognition of Autodesk Certification to support the ATC Partner channel.
You will be invited to attend one of an annual series of regional ATC Partner exclusive meetings held each new Program year to be briefed on future plans and strategies, hear new announcements, review initiatives and contribute to the ATC Program.
This is a bespoke website providing operational information and reference material for product news, exam launches, campaign initiatives, operational notifications, and PR and marketing information. The Portal is the ultimate reference with full details easily accessible, plus an ordering facility for Autodesk training guides. We utilize LinkedIn and eshot broadcasts to provide alerts on what’s happening.
Autodesk Official Training Guides
You will have access to the Autodesk Authorized Publisher network and access and Autodesk Learning Central.
As an ATC partner you undertake to deliver:
Quality training on Autodesk products – there is an authorized instructor program providing comprehensive online technical training resources, free certification exams and a unique pedagogical workshop.
20 delegate submissions per installed license.
20 exams (5 per quarter) if you decide to provide Certification.
How to Apply
Make that difference now by applying to become an Autodesk Training Center today.
Just complete the form below:
* Originally posted from National Institute of Justice (NIJ) article. Researchers: Lois M. Davis, Robert Bozick, and Jennifer Steele, from the RAND Corporation.