‘Sometimes mistakes can be the best thing’: 11 inmates graduate from Madison Technical College

‘Sometimes mistakes can be the best thing’: 11 inmates graduate from Madison Technical College

Many employers in Wisconsin face challenges in hiring skilled workers due to the historically low unemployment rate. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections teamed up with Madison College’s Construction Essentials Certificate program to help fill that void.

An exciting day for 11 inmates who graduated from college this afternoon… some of which already have a job lined up when they are released. Inspiring stories coming your way tonight at 6 on #News3 pic.twitter.com/B8OdyyLubH

— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) July 30, 2018

On Monday, 11 inmates graduate from the 15-week program, many of which have jobs lined up for them upon release.

“Just having the opportunity to do this and having something when you get out is an advantage. It’s definitely an advantage,” said Thomas, a 32-year-old graduate serving five years for vehicular homicide.

“Oh, it’s an incredible feeling. This was an awesome experience. I really think the construction industry has a lot to bring for the future,” said Jeremy, a 24-year-old graduate serving eight years for armed robbery.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity we had to do this. It’s going to take me a long way in life,” said Caleb, a 29-year-old graduate serving six years for grand theft auto.

Not only are the graduates taught to build structures, they’re taught to build character, too.

“I think education is the key to a lot of things. When I came in, I was just 20 years old, just out of high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was really misguided. I think programs like this really show guys what they’re capable of and show them that there’s so much more to life than where we came from,” Jeremy said.

“One hundred percent this has changed my life and it’s going to help me prevail in life. This completely, this is it. This is definitely an excellent opportunity,” Caleb said.