Austin Community College District’s (ACC) Continuing Education division celebrated 52 women who graduated from the Correctional Education program at the Gregory S. Coleman Facility in Lockhart.

The program provides customized career training for women who are preparing to return to society after their release. They select among several high-demand career paths and earn industry-recognized certifications and certificates through the Certified Production Technician, Certified Logistics Technician, and Welding Technician programs.

During the training, students committed four hours a day, two days a week in the evenings, for 12 to 16 weeks to complete their program. Upon completion, they are qualified for entry-level and even supervisor roles in the manufacturing, logistics, or welding industry.

“The goal of the program is to reduce recidivism rates among our students. Supporting a skilled workforce is in everyone’s best interest,” explains Don Tracy, ACC Continuing Education Corporate and Community Education director. “These are our neighbors who made a mistake, but they are ready and willing to change their path in life. We can make a huge difference when we come together to support them with these types of training programs.”

Through a collaboration with the Texas Workforce Commission and local Workforce Solutions offices around the state, the CE Division helps connect our graduates with jobs in their home community upon their release.

More than 150 family members from across the state came to celebrate this significant achievement. Speakers and attendees included representatives from the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Management & Training Corporation, Rural Capital Area Workforce Solutions, area non-profit organizations, a former ACC student from the Coleman Unit, and numerous current students.

Check out a slideshow from the ceremony below.