Detention Center, Community Partners to Bring Workforce Skills Training to Inmates

The Reentry Success Program is a partnership between the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, Owensboro Community & Technical College, Daviess County Detention Center, the City of Owensboro, and the Daviess County Fiscal Court and will work to prepare inmates for re-entering the workforce by providing skills training prior to their release. 

The inmates selected for the program have been classified as community or minimum-level custody inmates and have already been assigned as inmate workers at Daviess County Detention Center. These inmates were viewed as ideal participants in the program because they are serving for non-violent convictions and are no longer awaiting trial, which means they will likely return to the community within a matter of months. 

Once completed, the program will provide inmates with the Enhanced Operator I and Workforce Readiness Certificates via Owensboro Community & Technical College’s online FlexTrain platform. The courses are designed to help the inmates develop critical workplace skills that will aid in gaining employment from manufacturing and skilled trade companies upon release. Course curriculum consists of topics such as hand and power tools, lean operations, safety, problem solving, and workplace principles. After completion of the course, the names of the inmates will be shared with employers. Employers who have already joined the partnership include TTMA, Envision, UniFirst, CRS, and Sun Windows & Doors.

“We are very excited to implement this program,” said Brittaney Johnson, President/CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation. “As we continue to face workforce challenges here locally and across the nation, we hope this is another way to continue to grow our pipeline, while also helping incarcerated men and women begin new chapters in their lives after they are released.”

As of September 7, 2022, five inmates have completed the Reentry Success Program. These inmates have successfully completed the coursework necessary to earn their certifications from Owensboro Community & Technical College, and a graduation ceremony was held for them at the Daviess County Detention Center. These graduates were then given the opportunity to participate in employer interviews after the ceremony.

“Greater Owensboro is fortunate to have a strong base of manufacturing and skilled trades employers. This program is another tool to grow the talent pipeline for these industries while also providing formerly incarcerated individuals the skills needed to earn a family sustaining wage upon reentry into the workforce,” noted Cindy Fiorella, Vice-President Workforce Solutions, Owensboro Community and Technical College.

Our community partners will continue to plan and support new ideas for streamlining the Reentry Success Program. The next group of inmates are on track to graduate, and we hope to continue in assisting qualified inmates turn their life around and successfully reenter the Greater Owensboro community.