TAFT, Okla. – Many inmates lack an education, a building block to avoiding re-incarceration. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center offers classroom instruction and “live” work experience. CareerTech Instructor Steve Evans, said, “Most of these women aren’t able to go back and pursue a college degree because of cost and time so they come out at a disadvantage. This gives them the technical skills they can come out with an immediately put them in the workforce and go right to work.”
CareerTech partners with DOC to provide this unique offender rehabilitation program – forklift operation. Inmate Caroline Sieblik said, “Being felons, this program gives us another chance at life. We will have the confidence that when we are released we will be able to support our families.”
They must complete 600 hours of formal classroom lectures and driving demonstrations before earning an operator certificate.
Careertech also teaches inmates the most marketable skills of all – work ethic, dependability, and teamwork.
Employers are eager to hire this female workforce. According to Evans, “That’s what I say, why not? I’ve come from this industry and we love women in our career field. Women think a little differently then men. They have more care, safety and security. It’s just there.”
These names represent just some of the thousands of women who’ve successfully completed the course. “Not only do we train them on the forklift, we also get them into other skills. “Evans said, “Electrical, plumbing, precision measurements. These girls come out knowing what they’re doing,” Evans said.
More than 90 percent of Oklahoma’s incarcerated women will be released back into the community at some point. Opportunities like this can really give these ladies a lift.