RICHMOND (Covering Fort Bend) – Twelve inmates at the Fort Bend County Jail graduated from the a new welding course that is being offered to help inmates learn job skills and hopefully lessen the chance that they’ll reoffend after serving their time.
Ten of the inmates received two certifications of completion; 112 hours of Flux Cored Arc Welding and 112 hours of Shielded Metal Arc Welding. Two inmates received one certification of completion for the Shielded Metal Arc Welding class.
The ceremonies were held at the Inmate Vocational Center on the Sheriff’s Office compound.
Guest speakers for the event were James Pustka, from Hudson Products and ABC 13 News Anchor Art Rascon.
The program is one component of Second Chance Opportunities and Re-Entry Educational (S.C.O.R.E) Programs, which has a goal of providing education for inmates in order to avoid returning to a life of crime.
The Welding Program was developed with funds from the Inmate Commissary Fund and is at no cost to Fort Bend County taxpayers.
Twelve inmates received certificates for completing the 19-week, 224-hour continuing education course.
Victor Manrriquez of Wharton County Junior College was the instructor for the program, and Alice Atkins of the Fort Bend Technical Center urged the inmates to move forward after achieving the training provided by the program.
Pustka was in attendance to recruit for Hudson Products while guest speaker, Art Rascon, spoke to the inmates about having the free will to make a change in their life and give back to society.
Sheriff Troy E. Nehls presented certificates to eleven out of the twelve men in attendance.
Major Thomas Goodfellow served as emcee of the event. Lt. Jeff Kovar and Deputy Gerald Wells, who help guide the program, were on hand for the ceremonies. Richard Erivo, Inmate Vocational Administrator and Coordinator, also attended the ceremony.
Inmates in the first class of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Welding program received two certificates of completion during ceremonies held Monday, June 19, 2017. Shown with the inmates are, left, Deputy Houston; Victor Manrriquez, Welding Instructor; Richard Erivo, Inmate Vocational Administrator and Coordinator; Art Rascon, Guest speaker; and Sheriff Troy E. Nehls.