Florida inmate training company Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE Enterprises) has launched a training program for Belle Glade inmates to train them as diesel technicians, Florida Politics reports.
Created as a joint venture between PRIDE Enterprises, the Florida Department of Corrections and Palm Beach State College, the program is a 425-hour college credit course providing full state college certification through Palm Beach State College.
The program first launched November 6 with 10 inmates from the Moore Haven Correctional Facility voluntarily joining. They will be trained in diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining vehicles ranging from heavy-duty trucks to agricultural equipment.
Prior to launching the program, PRIDE Enterprises invested in and constructed a classroom and service center for program participants, giving them the chance to practice on actual diesel equipment.
Aside from gaining a full college-level certification, inmates will have the opportunity to acquire an Automotive Service Excellence Certification. Not only does the program provide a path to reintegrate into society, but helps address a growing need for diesel technicians. There is only one state college in Florida offering the program and over 1,000 diesel technician job openings in Florida currently.
“For these inmates, it isn’t just about acquiring skills; it is about gaining a tangible opportunity for a second chance,” said Blake Brown, president of PRIDE Enterprises. “Upon successful completion of the program, they will transition into a commercial work program with PRIDE Enterprises. Here, they will put their newfound expertise to practical use, honing their skills in a controlled, professional environment.”