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Job Training Gives Clark County Inmates a Leg up after Release

Washington Times Herald

By Aprile Rickert

Joshua Jenkins said he plans to make this stay in the Clark County jail his last.

The Jeffersonville resident said he’s been incarcerated six or seven times this year on drug charges — he’s currently being held pretrial in several cases. But a pilot program at the jail in job training and certifications may give Jenkins and other inmates an opportunity to stop that cycle, and it’s a chance he’s not going to pass up.

“This will help because [for] a lot of people, [jail] is a revolving door most of the time,” he said. “It’s like we come in, we get out out…where do we go when we get out? This gives us something to look forward to.”

Jenkins and 10 other men are participants in Skills for Success, an intensive, two-week course hosted by Purdue University to help prepare them for careers in manufacturing after they’re released from jail. Upon completion of the program, they receive a Purdue Certificate of Learning, an OSHA 10 Certification and a MSSC CPT Quality & Measurement Certification.

It costs just over $2,000 per student for the two-week class, and is funded through grants. The pilot class was open to men only, but there are plans to expand it to women as well.

Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel said the new program, the result of a partnership between the jail, sheriff’s office, the state of Indiana and Purdue, is a great addition to what he sees as a growing list of resources to help people succeed when they’re released.

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