TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Some Florida offenders will be attending college for free.
Tallahassee Community College is partnering with FDOC to help 24 transitioning offenders will receive the skills needed to support a smooth transition back into the workforce while earning the nationally recognized industry credential, the commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Tallahassee Community College's Transportation and Logistics program begins Friday, Jan. 29 at 8 a.m. and lasts for eight weeks. A total of three groups of eight individuals will complete training by June 30, 2021, in the program.
Since these individuals are still serving a sentence, the FDOC will transport them to a TCC facility where classes will be held. They will later return to the Tallahassee Community Release Center where they are actively working to complete their sentences.
Upon successful completion of the program, the transitioning offenders will earn their CDL and a vocational certificate which will position them for immediate employment once they have completed their sentences in a growing field with a self-sufficient wage.
“TCC is committed to being innovative in our approach and more importantly in touch with the needs of our community,” said Kimberly A. Moore, Vice President for Workforce Innovation and TCC2WORK/Be Essential. “The fact that TCC through our partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections is the first to carry out such a life-changing initiative in the state speaks volumes.”
TCC has issued more than 1,100 credentials at five different corrections facilities and one work release center across Florida. TCC’s workforce programs include electrical, culinary, masonry, carpentry, HVAC and GED prep.
The programs are located at the Jefferson Correctional Institution, Quincy Annex, Liberty Correctional, Taylor Correctional Annex and Gadsden Re-Entry. Nearly 180 inmates have been impacted by TCC’s vocational programs.
For more information, contact the Workforce Development Division at (850) 201-8760 or visit tcc.fl.edu/workforce-development [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com].
*Note, reports show that individuals who participate in any type of educational program while in prison are 43 percent less likely to return to prison. In addition to reducing recidivism, education can improve outcomes from one generation to the next.