A groundbreaking ceremony was held recently for a new Welding-Plumbing Training Center, an addition to the training facilities for inmates in the Fort Bend County Detention Center.
Already in service is the H-VAC/Electrical facility, in which training began in 2015.
The 2,800-square-foot building will house two programs, one for welding and the other for plumbing.
“We continue our efforts to reduce recidivism by teaching inmates a trade they can use once they are released from jail,” said Sheriff Troy E. Nehls. “This is an issue that needs to be addressed not only in Texas, but across the country.
We believe that inmates who leave this facility with a trade have a much better chance of success once they get back into civilian life.”
Also participating in the ceremony were Precinct 4 Commissioner James Patterson; James Knight, Facilities Director for Fort Bend County; Detention Major Thomas Goodfellow; and Richard Erivo, the Inmates Vocational Administrator at the sheriff’s office.
Patterson is a proponent of the training being conducted at the sheriff’s office.
“If an inmate leaves jail with a certificate that says he is qualified to start at the ground level of the welding or plumbing professions, that is an extraordinary boost for that man,” Patterson said. “The same can be said for the H-VAC and electrical training being taught here.”
The sheriff’s office also provides GED preparatory classes along with training in food service, janitorial services, barber training, alterations and tailoring and basic computer skills.
The new facility is being paid for with inmate commissary funds, not tax money.
The programs should kick off in the late summer months.