Union Pre-apprenticeship Construction Training for Incarcerated Women

The Ironworkers Local 29, Bricklayers Local 1, and Cement Masons Local 555 partnered to launch the Union Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training (U-PACT) program, which offers training to women at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF).

The program received a state grant and gives preference to adults in custody, who are within six months of their release date, the opportunity to apply for the program. The first cohort of 12 pre-apprentices began this April. The women began the 10-week course that includes 6-weeks of safety and job training from the ironworkers, and 2-weeks of training each from the cement masons and bricklayers.

A recent study released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that almost one-third of people who spend time in prison will not find a job within four years of being released. Those who do find employment tend to jump from job to job and make less money, on average, than the general working population. U-PACT creates a path to stable long-term careers in the building trades that guarantee living wages and good benefits. The goal of these partnerships is to help these women find good jobs after serving their sentences and add more women to the building trades.

Finding a stable living wage job after serving time in prison is difficult. The new pre-apprenticeship program at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility could ease these challenges.