Home  /  News  /  Newsroom

Unique partnership with Enid business gives ODOC inmates promising future

Unique partnership with Enid business gives ODOC inmates promising future

ENID, OK -- A steel pillar embodies the most memorable students at Autry Career Tech in Enid. It is decorated with special designs as a tribute to the ODOC inmates who've successfully completed the welding school. 

Ken Hansen is a welding instructor here, and many of his students are Department of Corrections inmates. Hansen said, "They get a certificate of completion along with their certification and sometimes they ask for an extra to send to mom or grandma because it’s the first time in life they’ve been successful."

This program began with a 1 million dollar grant in 2005. Nobody ever imagined it would become this successful. According to Career Tech's Barrett Richardson, "It’s very fulfilling to see them complete something and move forward and get a job. They start making honest money. Most know how to make money. They just never knew how to make it the correct way. So, that’s very rewarding."

Career Tech is partnering with Enid Community Corrections Center to put men like Kenneth Wheeler on the right path. Wheeler said, "Since I came here I’ve gotten my GED, went through a drug program and I’m here doing the welding program. This place has been pretty good for me."

Not only are they learning life-changing skills, many have a job waiting for them once they’re released. Marsau Enterprises has given many former inmates jobs, with a competitive salary, benefits, and security. "I’ve made a reputation in Enid. I’m willing to give anybody a second chance as long as they are willing to step up and do their part. And we’ve had a lot of success with these guys coming through here," said Marsau's George Barbour. 

The job placement rate for these Career Tech students is an impressive 87%. There is now a waiting list of inmates wanting to make a major change. Cased Manager, Darlene Staples said, "These guys, when they come in, they are hopeful. They don’t want to come back to prison."

For guys like Kenneth Wheeler, there is finally a bright light of hope at the end of a long, dark tunnel. "I'd like the think I'm a new man."


Contact DOC

Main Location
3400 Martin Luther King Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73111-4298


Mailing
PO Box 11400
Oklahoma City, OK  73136-0400


Phone: (405) 425-2500
Fax: (405) 425-2578


Contact Webmaster

Subscribe to DOC Updates!

 Email Updates 
To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.


Required

Top Resources

Closed Records


Employment Verification (405) 425-2644


Sex and Violent Offender Registration


Victim Services


Visitation Policy


Volunteer Opportunities


If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Onelife at 800-559-9544 or the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Click here for more suicide awareness information.