Former CALPIA graduate finds success at Caltrans

A new inspirational video highlights the story of a formerly incarcerated graduate from the California Prison Industry Authority who now has a bright future with the California Department of Transportation.

The video features Maynard Walker who was incarcerated at the California Institution for Men for several years. Walker took part in CALPIA’s Commercial Dive Program where he learned commercial diving, underwater welding, physics, physiology, blueprint reading among other valuable job skills.

“CALPIA opens doors for those who participate in our programs and who want to find a career when they leave prison,” said CALPIA’s Acting General Manager Bill Davidson. “Mr. Walker is a shining example of why our job-training programs are so beneficial to helping incarcerated individuals change their lives for the better.”

In this video you will hear about Mr. Walker’s past and how he is looking forward to his future, which includes spending time with his family, attending college for a degree in engineering and his career at Caltrans.

Besides Mr. Walker, other incarcerated individuals saw first-hand the reality of prison to employment with the help of multiple state agencies including CALPIA, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Caltrans.

“We are fortunate to have such a quality person as part of our Caltrans team,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Caltrans is pleased to partner with CalPIA to help provide career opportunities to dedicated, aspiring individuals.”

In 2019, at California State Prison, Solano, representatives from the partnering agencies provided support to a total of 39 incarcerated individuals as they took the Highway Maintenance Worker civil service examination.

At the end of the effort, all 39 exam takers successfully passed the exam. Twenty-four men interviewed with 10 being chosen. Those 10 men received conditional job offers on the spot.

To see the video, go to