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VADOC launches mobile welding trailer to enhance career training opportunities for inmates, probationers

The mobile welding trailer has six welding stations for inmates within the mobile learning center; the trailer is also equipped with six virtual reality welding simulators

By Sarah Roebuck

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Corrections unveiled its new mobile welding trailer to provide more VADOC students opportunities to pursue a career in welding, the agency announced.

The “Education on the Move” mobile welding trailer has six welding stations within the mobile learning center. The trailer is also equipped with six realistic virtual reality welding simulators.

The mobile welding trailer will enable VADOC inmates and probationers to join a three-to-five-month program. This program, conducted in a cohort learning environment, will be taught by an instructor licensed by the Virginia Department of Education, VADOC says. Participants will receive training in various welding techniques.

The VADOC’s mobile welding program will be available at four locations: Chesterfield Women’s and Brunswick Community Corrections Alternative Programs (CCAP), and Nottoway and Deerfield Work Centers. Additionally, VADOC operates four traditional, non-mobile welding programs across the Commonwealth at Appalachian CCAP, Coffeewood Correctional Center, Dillwyn Correctional Center, and State Farm Work Center, which houses female inmates.

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Graduates of the program will have enhanced job skills tailored for the welding industry, aiding their reentry into society, VADOC said. According to VADOC research, individuals who complete Career and Technical Education programs in Virginia have a recidivism rate of 12.4%, reflecting a success rate of 87.6%.

“The ‘Education on the Move’ Mobile Welding Trailer is a significant advancement, not just for the Virginia Department of Corrections, but for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “This mobile learning center allows our Department to meet probationers and inmates at their facilities and teach them valuable career skills. That leads to a better reentry process, which in turn helps ensure long-term public safety. Thank you to our correctional education team members for their dedication to this project and best of luck to the inmates and probationers who complete these welding courses.”

The mobile welding program is one of 125 programs VADOC offers to inmates and supervisees. For more information, click here.

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