Correctional Training Facility Soledad CALPIA graduation
CALPIA graduate Demarie Mackey (middle) smiles proudly holding his job certification, alongside (from left) Chief Assistant General Manager Suzie Changus, CALPIA General Manager Bill Davidson, former CALPIA graduate and success story Timothy Jackson and Assistant General Manager of Operations Nicole Collins. (Courtesy of CALPIA)

SOLEDAD — In front of family and friends, 123 inmates at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad received their apprenticeships and industry accredited job certifications during an April 9 graduation held by the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA).

“Congratulations! We are recognizing you for your achievements today,” said CALPIA’s General Manager Bill Davidson. “We are proud of your commitment, dedication and demonstrated work ethic in our programs, which prepare you for a meaningful career when you return home.”

Correctional Training Facility Soledad CALPIA graduation
CALPIA’s General Manager Bill Davidson encourages graduates at their April 9 graduation. (Courtesy of CALPIA)

Various job training programs were highlighted, some graduates earned apprenticeships as maintenance mechanics, machine operators, upholsterers and stock clerks.

Formerly incarcerated and CALPIA graduate Timothy Jackson shared his story of success. Jackson is the founder and CEO of Quality Touch Cleaning Systems, and said he learned his job skills in prison through CALPIA’s Healthcare Facilities Maintenance program.

“It is a blessing to be here,” Jackson said. “I never could have imagined that this would be a reality for me.”

Correctional Training Facility Soledad CALPIA graduation
Formerly incarcerated, now business owner and CEO Timothy Jackson inspires graduates. (Courtesy of CALPIA)

Jackson said he learned how to clean at a hospital level through the job training program and received all his certifications, which helped him when he returned to his community in 2017. Jackson, now happily married with a family, talked candidly with the graduates about overcoming life’s struggles.

“You have to have the right mindset, set goals for yourself,” he added. “CALPIA stands for changed lives. When you collaborate with this organization, no matter what your vocation is, you will integrate into the curriculum. They have hopes and expectations for you. I am a living hope of that. They want your life to be changed.” 

A 2021 University of California, Irvine study found CALPIA had lower rates of rearrests, reconvictions and reincarcerations compared to those who were qualified to, but did not, participate in a CALPIA job training program. The study found three years after release, only 15% of CALPIA participants had been returned to custody, meaning 85% are staying out of prison.

Correctional Training Facility Soledad CALPIA graduation
More than 100 inmates at CTF in Soledad receive their apprenticeships and industry accredited job certifications at an April 9 graduation. (Courtesy of CALPIA)
Correctional Training Facility Soledad CALPIA graduation
Correctional Training Facility inmate Demarie Mackey (middle) stands proudly with his wife and son after receiving his Certificate of Completion from CALPIA’s job training program. (Courtesy of CALPIA)
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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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