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Gold Standard Truss is partnering with the Indiana Department of Correction to give incarcerated individuals at Westville Correctional Facility a unique opportunity. A plant built inside the prison's walls is designed to allow incarcerated individuals to learn manufacturing skills and potentially earn a job opportunity after release. "They'll be learning how to build walls, build roof trusses and build floor trusses," said Brent Kaper with Gold Standard Truss. "We also intend to kind of expand that training program to framing carpentry itself, so actually how to then install what they've built and how to stand them up in the field, put them all together and build a house." The nearly $1.5 million investment turned the once-empty building on the prison grounds into a first-rate manufacturing facility about the size of a football field that will employ about 30 inmates beginning next month. 

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“Future Ready Iowa’s Employer Innovation Fund is centered around a grassroots effort to solve local workforce challenges while helping Iowans find economic opportunity in their community,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says. “These programs not only help those affected by the pandemic, they will also focus on recruiting our minority and underrepresented communities to help us diversify our workforce and provide equal chances for success for all Iowans.” Through this initiative, Iowa Prison Industries was awarded $100,000 which will be used to provide vocational training to men incarcerated at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City. Those who are being released soon will receive training, testing, and work opportunities leading to an American Welding Society qualification and OSHA 10 certification.

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Synopsis: California's governor passed a bill, California bill AB2147, that will give prisoners battling the state's massive wildfires a chance to avoid a different battle after their release: That of finding a job. Criminal records are often a bar to employment. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wants to give the prisoners a shot at becoming firefighters and that removing their criminal history will make that more possible. "California inmate firefighter program is decades-old and has long needed reform," Newsom said on Twitter. "Inmates who have stood on the front lines, battling historic fires should not be denied the right to later become a professional firefighter." The goal is to make it easier for them to have a firefighting career after release.

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