Department of Corrections Partners with WTI/Tremco for Job Training Program

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Aug. 25, 2021
Contact: Karen Pojmann, Communications Director
Office: 573-522-1118
Cell: 573-690-7539


Department of Corrections Partners with WTI/Tremco for Job Training Program

Graduates get jobs after release, mitigating construction labor shortage

ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI — A new vocational training program piloted in a state prison is readying Missourians for construction-industry jobs after release.

This summer the Missouri Department of Corrections teamed up with construction products company Tremco’s WTI (Weatherproofing Technologies Inc.) to prepare incarcerated Missourians to become commercial roofing technicians. Last week, offender-students at Western Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center (WRDCC) in St. Joseph completed an eight-week, two-phase pilot training program integrating live stream instruction, self-paced learning, in-person/on-site training and hands-on practice. A third phase is in development.

The first five newly trained roofers, who completed an application and vetting process to take part in the program, earned OSHA certification and learned roofing and waterproofing techniques through courses covering safety essentials, roofing systems, roof maintenance, and roof restoration and repair. Students can get hands-on experience working with roofs on site and then embark on new careers with Tremco after release, with wages starting at $16 per hour. All participants are within two years of release; one gets out next month.

“It is amazing that we have such a great partnership with WTI/ Tremco,” says Missouri Department of Corrections Reentry Coordinator Heather Cullen. “They’re willing to work with Missouri Department of Corrections to improve the lives of our offenders in order to create stronger, healthier, and safer communities.”

In other states, the Ohio-based company has offered the training program Elevate to job seekers involved in the criminal justice system, helping them to secure employment while also providing wrap-around support. The MODOC partnership marks the company’s first foray into providing training inside prison, before release. The Missouri program graduates have access to the same support and services, which can include help with everything from work clothes to transportation — components that make a big difference to people entering the workforce after incarceration.

“You’re now part of our family, and we’re going to make sure we take care of you,” says WTI/Tremco quality resource coordinator Maleah Evans, who worked with the students at WRDCC. “We’ve always been a second-chance company. We always want to give people the opportunity to change their lives and do better.”

The partnership creates a win-win-win situation for all involved. In the midst of a nationwide skilled-labor shortage, Tremco gains well-trained employees who are eager to work. Students gain the opportunity to walk out of a prison and onto a job site, closing one of the most challenging barriers to success people face after incarceration. The department can increase post-incarceration employment, which helps reduce recidivism and make Missouri safer.