Incarcerated individuals secure state job offers before leaving prison

A civil service workshop and hiring event for incarcerated individuals was held at the California State Prison, Solano on Nov. 17, 2021. Twenty-three individuals received conditional job offers for employment from the California Department of Transportation before returning to their communities.

“This hiring event is successful thanks to multiple state agencies coming together to improve the lives of others,” said CALPIA’s Acting General Manager Bill Davidson. “CALPIA thrives through partnerships, and it is rewarding to see a smooth transition for those individuals who are about to leave prison.”

The California Prison Industry Authority joined with Caltrans, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Government Operations Agency, the California Department of Human Resources and the California Workforce Development Board in the Civil Service Workshop.

“Following the completion of their training, Caltrans is proud to offer these Californians jobs in maintaining our highways,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “These jobs can lead to rewarding careers in civil service, and Caltrans is pleased to partner in this effort.”

The No. 17 hiring event was the second to take place at California State Prison, Solano. A total of 34 incarcerated individuals took the entry-level Highway Maintenance Worker or Landscape Maintenance Worker exam with 33 successfully passing one or both exams. Since the first workshop and hiring event in 2019, 33 received conditional job offers from Caltrans.

The $37 million Prison to Employment Initiative, a three-year workforce and re-entry services integration across the state’s 14 regions, aims to improve labor market outcomes for the state’s justice-involved and formerly incarcerated populations.

Joe Flores, the lead representative for the Prison to Employment Initiative and Corrections Workforce Partnership for the California Workforce Development Board, said there are major wins to celebrate.

“Through this coordinated partnership, we can help incarcerated individuals into post-release jobs,” said Flores. “This civil service hiring event leaves a blueprint for other public agencies to follow.”

All the men who received job offers will be paroled or released within the next year.