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Building People: Missouri Vocational Enterprises transforms lives

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Throughout the state of Missouri, Missouri Vocational Enterprises Correctional Industries operates in 12 correctional institutions in 22 industries and services, including woodworking, consumable products, and clothing and textiles. Incarcerated individuals in training programs can earn a 2,000-hour to 8,000-hour certificate with the Department of Labor. Across the state, there are 1,255 men and women employed through the program and Willie Henderson, in photo on the left, is one of these men. “I get a joy out of the things that I have learned and helping other people learn and grow,” Henderson says. “The potential that they have. It’s exciting because when I first came to prison, I wanted to do something; I wanted to learn, and I wanted to better myself, and I wanted to get better at what I wanted to do. So I chose the factory. … I stuck with it, and I’ve been in the factory for 16 years now, and it’s been a pleasure working with the guys that come through the door and helping them learn and grow into their potential. It’s just been good.”

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