Leaders from Madison College, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW) gathered this past week to celebrate the graduation of nine incarcerated individuals, all graduating as part of the college’s Reentry Program.
Over the past several months, these students attended the Madison College’s Electrical Maintenance Academy, earning them technical diplomas in Basic Industrial Power and Electrical Maintenance. The goal of the program is to provide key skills and knowledge that lead to livable wage employment. Madison College provides the training and education, DOC covers cost for instruction and helps with employment, and the WDBSCW facilitates interview opportunities, connecting graduates with potential employers.
Student speaker David Tatro delivered a powerful and deeply moving message, reinforcing the mission and importance of the college's re-entry program.
“Because we are in prison, some people may view us as broken. Perhaps we are,” Tatro said.
“Then let’s approach that as an industrial maintenance technician. When a machine breaks down, you don’t just discard it. You don’t just trash it, you fix it. You run diagnostics on all the intricate little parts that make it operate and pinpoint the problem, and you fix the problem. You provide maintenance.”
To learn more about Madison College's re-entry program, contact Center for Re-entry Education manager Jamie Reinart.