University Economic Development Association


Industrial Maintenance Certificate for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Award Category: Talent + Place
Submitted By: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Contact: Meridtth Jaeger, Dean of Corporate Training & Economic Development, 920.498.6995


Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) worked collaboratively with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WIDOC) to create a technical education program for currently incarcerated individuals. Traditionally, inmate populations have had limited access to technical education programs that increase skills and help secure high-paying jobs upon re-entry. The WIDOC identified securing high-wage jobs as a key factor in reducing rates of recidivism.

With its high wages, numerous job openings, and opportunity for academic pathway growth, NWTC’s 14-credit Industrial Maintenance Certificate was selected. Qualifying inmates were in a minimum-security correctional center and already approved for work release. Participation in this program was voluntarily, with inmates choosing to forego work opportunities to instead travel to NWTC’s campus for education.

The impact of this program led to inmates securing jobs with the highest wages in the state for any WIDOC re-entry education program. Recidivism rates of graduates continue to be monitored over a five-year period.

University Economic Development Association

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216.200.UEDA (8332)