|New Pre-Apprenticeship Trades Program Launches at Washington state Women’s Prison|
|By Rachel Friderich, Washington Department of Correctoins|
Shawna Norberg looks like any construction worker. Dressed in gloves, a hardhat and a reflective vest, she kneels beside a mat of rebar and talks about what she’s learned.
“This is what you call throwing a mat tie,” Norberg, 37, says. “You put these snap ties on and then pour in concrete. So now if the concrete cracks the concrete will hold its form.”
Norberg is an inmate at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women. She hopes the skills she’s learned will help her become a carpenter when she releases from prison next year. Norberg and eight other women are the first to graduate from the prison’s new Trades Related Apprenticeship Coaching (pdf)program, also known as TRAC.
The women began the course in January 2019 and graduated on May 29, 2019.
TRAC is a 16-week pre-apprenticeship program in which participants get hands-on vocational training in trades including carpentry, iron work, construction, craft laborers, cement masons and plastering. At the end of the class, students are able to test for preferred entry into union apprenticeships for each trade.
That’s the plan for Norberg. She plans on joining the carpenter’s union. It’s a sharp contrast to her life before incarceration. She was working as a hairdresser before being sentenced to prison.
Norberg said she’s glad she took the TRAC program and she’s excited she has the skills to enter a career field that’s in high demand.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2018 annual median wage for carpenters was $46,590. The BLS expects jobs to grow by eight percent through 2026. Starting wage for a first period carpenters apprentice is $27.55 per hour plus a $16.52 per hour benefit package. The package is set between the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters and the Association of General Contractors.
“I would never think in a million years that I could be so proud of myself coming out of prison,” Norberg said. "I can get out with a fresh start and have a good job and be a productive member of society. It’s beyond everything I could have comprehended.”
Requirements and Safety
The Department of Corrections has a strict set of requirements to get into TRAC. Participants must remain major infraction-free for 90 days. They must have already received, or be currently working on, obtaining a GED and have between five and 15 months remaining on their prison sentence.
Additionally, each participant must go through a competitive tryout process. The process includes loading a wheelbarrow with 200 pounds of nails while navigating an obstacle course, carrying 35-pound concrete blocks two at a time, and lifting lumber and plywood. Ultimately, the participants have to be able to lift and carry 80 pounds of rebar for 30 minutes.
They must also complete a math assessment and a scored mock job interview.
Once accepted, participants must complete occupational safety training and obtain more than 460 hours of instruction.
Department officials also take steps to keep class participants, non-participating inmates, and staff safe. Tools are inventoried in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of each day. A qualified instructor supervises incarcerated students at all times during class. Any participant that does not follow classroom rules can be subject to infractions and/or removal from the program.
John Brown is the TRAC instructor at Mission Creek. He’s an Army veteran who spent 25 years as a carpenter. Brown had retired, but chose to take the job at Mission Creek because he wanted to make a difference in the women’s lives.
“On the second interview, I got to go in and meet the students and I knew right then that I had to do this,” Brown said. “It’s amazing the transformation you see. It’s the phenomenon I experience. It’ll catch me when I give them something that I think is a relatively complicated task and they just go in and blow it out. They have grown by leaps and bounds as a group and as individuals and they don’t let you down.”
Success on the Outside
Though TRAC is a new program at Mission Creek, it’s been operating at the state’s other women’s facility — Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor—since 2000, according to the facility’s TRAC Instructor Steve Petermann.
Program officials say to date, more than 300 women have completed TRAC program. Brown said women in the TRAC program have gotten trades jobs in a wide variety of fields besides the ones TRAC specifically trains for, including millwrights, pipefitters, elevator constructors, operating engineers and even electricians.
Buffy Henson, 50, is an example of that. Henson’s been to prison three times since 2007. The last time she went to prison—in 2015, she took a chance on TRAC. And it paid off. Three days after her release from prison in 2016, a cabinet manufacturing company in Olympia gave her an entry-level job filling glue bottles. She quickly promoted, taking the time to seek mentorship from her co-workers and using the training she received in TRAC. She’s now a project engineer at the company.
“I learned a lot about myself,” Henson said. “I learned that I was a lot more than what I was giving myself credit for.”
She says if it wasn’t for TRAC, she might not have the renewed relationships with her family and children, stable housing or the wonderful relationship with her husband that she now has.
“TRAC was just lifesaving for me,” Henson said. “I pushed myself harder than I ever had before. Mentally. Spiritually. I just finally wanted enough change that I was willing to do it. It’s an awesome program. I’d recommend it for anyone.”
Back at Mission Creek, the TRAC students are looking forward to stepping back into their communities. This time with a renewed sense of confidence and commitment to leaving their past behind them.
Annie Fa’Alogo, 30, is releasing just days after she graduates from TRAC. She’s been incarcerated three times since 2011.
She says TRAC has given her the self-discipline she needs to be successful this time around. She now has the skills to become a cement mason and has talked to people working in that field who have visited the class. She’s determined to not come back to prison.
“It’s TRAC that has kept me out of trouble,” Fa’Alogo said. “It’s helped me build a rapport with the staff here, with the facility. It’s helped me be a greater person.” Fa’Alogo even took the lead on a few projects while in TRAC. One of those projects aided honeybee conservation.
The Sustainability in Prisons Project keeps beehives at 11 of the state’s correctional facilities. Incarcerated individuals look after hives with help from local chapters of the State Beekeeper’s Association and have the opportunity to become apprentice or journeyman beekeepers.
Rainwater had gotten into the Mission Creek hives in recent months. So Fa’Alogo and her classmates built raised platforms and a shelter to protect the hives. The site is now known as “Honey Hill.”
Several incarcerated women who’ve completed the program and work in the trades often come back to talk to the current students about their successes. Fa’Alogo wants to come back to be a motivational speaker for a future TRAC class after she is employed.
“It’s a good feeling knowing we’re working all the way up to this point,” Fa’Alogo said. "We’re releasing like butterflies. We’re learning how to expand our wings and we’re going to be out of this cocoon soon. Life is going to be out there waiting for us and it’s okay because we’ll be prepared and ready for that.”
Rachel Friederich is a Communications Consultant for the Washington State Department of Corrections. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Central Washington University. She has worked communications and public relations for various Washington non-profit organizations as well as a reporter at newspapers and radio stations across Washington including The Daily World, Yakima Herald-Republic, and KGY-AM in Olympia.
Login to let us know what you think
MARKETPLACE search vendors | advanced search
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Thanks for sharing. This is really useful. Keep sharing such useful things.
Nice one. Antena View
The strength of this application is the excellent movie quality. Free TV brings Full HD quality to every movie in the system.
The writer has outdone himself this time. It is not at all enough; the website is also utmost perfect. I will never forget to visit your site again and again. agen bandarqq
This is awesome, right on! I'm glad these women are learning skills instead of being set on a path to be sent right back into the system. Chris Photo Booth Rental Houston
This is very informative content that is useful every time whenever I visited. Thanks regard Antena View APK
That is the excellent mindset, nonetheless is just not help to make every sence whatsoever preaching about that mather. Virtually any method many thanks in addition to i had endeavor to promote your own article in to delicius nevertheless it is apparently a dilemma using your information sites can you please recheck the idea. thanks once more.www.thoptv.download
This is fantastic to see and I wish effective success! Thank you for sharing this valuable content. Anchorage Professional Cleaning
I thanks for your awesome work I want to say that the professionals of concrete lakeland fl are giving perfect shaping to working area thanks a bunch
So inspiring that inmates are being given a second chance and training that is valuable when they return to society. Trades like electricians will always be needed.
This is really a great article. I'm glad to see everything is working out with your Sacramento PPC Management program. Keep it up!
nice to read that they are having this apprenticeship program. It will help a lot of inmates out. Hamilton Lindley
Find out how you can get a lot of free google play gift card generator which you can use to buy everything you want from Google Play Store.
I'm glad to see the great detail here!. palm tree trimming Jupiter FL
I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... Buy Pinterest Followers
They definitely need to do everything to ensure the safety of the facility. 144hz vs 60hz
Thank you for this article!It helps me a lot. wedding video lancaster pa
I'm just excited your offer. It is brilliant to discover the majority explain in words away from your mindset along with skill for this important issue vicinity are actually adequately determined. gutter installation in Jupiter fl
Here is very much want the most impressive sparkle terrific. Each one of these moderate areas are meant by means of selection of makeup foundation curiosity. I love individuals much. Hearing aids supplier
This is a great idea for them! This program will help them in so many ways. I love that they came up with this. spray foam insulation contractors
This articles helps me more.Thanks for your sharing,I will pay more attentions to your blog. Looking forward to your better and better articles.See you next time. pressure cleaning
I love reading great articles and surely this is one of the few I found today! grease trap cleaning new york
It is obvious that the application has increased a great deal of fascination in the market since it is helpful to change channels from time to time.Radio stations have lost ThopTV its fame due to cutting edge innovation sources to appreciate the substance.
This is such a good idea to help integrate prisoners back into society! House clearance | Removals Leeds | Drain clearing
If you are looking for a great painter to do commercial or residential painting please contact us we do jail, hospitals, and homes. house painter
This will greatly boost their self confidence by give them a second chance and become good citizens. visit us
Great program! Nice to see this Jake @ Accountability coach Vancouver
highest paying url shortener sites
I would like to commend the Department of Corrections for coming up with the apprenticeship program for women. This will definitely give a boost in their confidence and become a better citizen when they get out of prison. Our company https://www.application-filing-service.com/socialsecuritycard/form-ss-5/ supports you in this program.
I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well!
This would give them a chance to be able to have a change in life once they are released from prison. Bless you all! :) affordable roofing
The Trades Related Apprenticeship Coaching (TRAC) in Washington women's prison is worth emulating. This program gives hope to women and become a better citizen when they go out of prison. apply for social security card
Much obliged to you for setting aside an ideal opportunity to distribute this data extremely valuable! www.traffic-circle.com
This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. pleasekissmehard.com
I read that Post and got it fine and enlightening. www.eatnowdrinklater.com
I have not any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. https://lose-weights.us
That is the excellent mindset, nonetheless is just not help to make every sence whatsoever preaching about that mather. Virtually any method many thanks in addition to i had endeavor to promote your own article in to delicius nevertheless it is apparently a dilemma using your information sites can you please recheck the idea. thanks once more. www.final-dream.com
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. www.final-dream.com
Two full thumbs up for this magneficent article of yours. I've really enjoyed reading this article today and I think this might be one of the best article that I've read yet. Please, keep this work going on in the same quality.mechanical watch
Are you looking to explore the vastness of space? Discover the beauty and splendor of the great unknown in lol universe.
Here they have shared about Pre-Apprenticeship Trades Program which is going to be launched at Washington State Women’s Prison. They have provided a detail description about the topic in the article. Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable article. magicard rio pro
We have a team of expert custom writers who help you rightly and provide best homework writing service for your college and university projects. Get coursework writing help from professional writers at coursework online, a reliable and best coursework writing service supporting students to ace their projects.
We are organizing an online community to elevate trusted voices on all sides so you can be fully informed. Experience the News
Activate Avg on your mac and pc. When you activate avg antivirus, it protects your device from unwanted threats and spywares. Below mentioned are the services provided by avg activation activation.avg.com download and install avg ultimate activate avg without cd avg.com/retail avg retail installation https://activationavg.com/