Wabash Valley Correctional Facility Celebrates National Welding Certification of Ten Offenders

Terre Haute, Ind.– Wabash Valley Correctional Facility and Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute are proud to announce the graduation of ten offenders in the nationally recognized American Welding Society course.

Recently the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) and Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute celebrated their 6th Welding Cohort graduation of non-violent, male offenders from the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (WVCF). All ten offenders earned their American Welding Society and Flux Core Arc Welding qualifications, as well as their Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications.

The welding class ran five days a week for four weeks. At the graduation Deputy Warden Kevin Gilmore spoke on behalf of WVCF. He congratulated the offenders on their accomplishment and encouraged them to continue the path they are on to a successful re-entry. Mr. Gilmore also thanked Ivy Tech for their continued efforts to ensure the program is a success!

When Graduate Sean Swonger was asked why he first signed up for the class, he stated he wanted to find a good job prior to release to provide the finances he needs to support his family. He also mentioned before Casework Manager McLaughlin posted the flier, he had no job lined up at all. Swonger then went on to tell how his passion to work hard in the program was ignited when a representative from a local business spoke with the class about the opportunities they could offer them. At the end of the interview Swonger stated, “I feel the class was worth the time and full of opportunity!”

Background

As a part of Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda , the program trains men at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility how to weld with the ultimate goal of aligning them with gainful employment in the industry upon release. Welding is an exceptional pathway for released offenders, providing higher pay rates and stable employment upon re-entry. Currently Indiana’s correctional facilities house about 27,000 offenders—and more than 90 percent of them will eventually be released back into Hoosier communities.

Welding Graduation

**Wabash Valley Correctional facility celebrating ten offenders graduating from Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute with their welding certifications.

Welding Graduation 2

*Graduate speaking at graduation ceremony.

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