For Immediate Release
October 22, 2002
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Moore said today the department's partnership with Ford Motor Company is an ideal example of what can be accomplished when government works with private companies.
"This is an outstanding illustration of Gov. Bush's public/private partnership initiative," Moore said. "The vast majority of inmates return to society. When they get out of prison, we want them to stay out. We know that one of the primary causes of the revolving door is lack of education and job skills. The job training we provide at Dade Correctional Institution through our partnership with Ford will give inmates the skills they need to turn their lives around and find gainful employment when they get out. This is good for the citizens of Florida."
Moore said the program is a 12-month course in Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Training. Enrollment began this month with 12 students; there will be 15 within a few weeks, which is the normal teacher/student ratio for DOC vocational programs. In addition, there are 15 students enrolled in the Autotronics program, which is located next to the new Maintenance and Light Repair bay. He said the program is voluntary and inmates must request to be enrolled. There currently is a waiting list. He said the department does try to enroll students on a "most in need" basis, for example, those within two years of release without a vocational certificate.
Since 1999, Ford has opened 11 Youth and Adult Automotive Training Centers to train youths and young adults in automotive repair techniques of the 21st century. Most of the centers are in a school setting.
Moore said this will be Ford's first training partnership with a correctional facility. "We're certainly pleased that Ford Motor Company chose Florida to establish this partnership," Moore said. "What makes this even more distinctive is that Dade is a female institution."
Moore said Ford committed $100,000 to help renovate the vocational training area and establish the programming capabilities at the institution. Beyond the initial training program, Ford offers job placement assistance and scholarships for continued education to graduates of the program.