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Welding school gives OSR inmates a spark of hope for a better life

Monday, September 09, 2019

GRANITE, Okla. -- the Oklahoma Department of Corrections takes great pride in rehabilitating inmates and preparing them for successful reentry into society.  

At Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, these men are taking comprehensive welding classes. Welding Instructor Dustin Kays said, “A lot of guys when they come in here they look for precisely that. They are sick and tired of going down the wrong path. And they are looking for a way they can go back into society.”  

The class includes everything they need to know to weld, cut, and shape metal.  

Inmates ultimately receive welding certificates and industry-recognized credentials within the prison walls. Student Robert marker said, “I’m pretty excited about it. I mean, there are tons of jobs out there for welders.”  

The American Welding Society estimates there will be a shortage of nearly 300,000 welding-related positions by 2020. Kays said, “I try to prepare these guys for shop work. OKC and Tulsa area. The shop work right now in those two cities is really hot. They are begging for welders in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. They make real good money.”  

There are many reasons why released prisoners return to crime, but a main cause is certainly economic.  

OSR is committed to education and vocational training is the most effective way to reduce recidivism.  


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