Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE Enterprises), an inmate training company operating in Florida correctional facilities, recently launched a diesel mechanic training and certificate program in Belle Glade.
The program is a joint venture between PRIDE Enterprises, the Florida Department of Corrections, and Palm Beach State College, according to an article on FloridaPolitics.com.
The 10 inmates participaing will complete the 425-hour college credit course and receive full state college certification through Palm Beach State College.
“We’re excited to have launched this new diesel mechanic training and certificate program,” said president of PRIDE Enterprises Blake Brown in a statement. “The certificates earned through this program are more than pieces of paper; they are tickets to a future filled with possibility.”
With only one state college in the state offering a program for diesel mechanics and over 1,000 diesel mechanic job openings, PRIDE Enterprises cites a pressing need for mechanics as their cause for starting the program.
“This is a demand that this program aims to meet,” Brown said in a statement. “Upon completion of their sentences, inmates who have graduated from the program will be stepping into a job market hungry for their expertise, with the potential for not just employment, but for careers that promise financial stability and personal fulfillment.”
Before the program's kick-off, PRIDE built a classroom and service center for inmates to apply their knowledge to actual diesel equipment.
Inmates will also be eligible to complete an Automotive Service Excellence Certification under the program.