By Samantha Rose
Admin. Assistant to the President Annette Funderburk
Ingram State Technical College
Top Photo: The ISTC celebrates the graduates of Tutwiler Women’s Prison on Tuesday with an opening ceremony and a celebratory meal with family members.
ELMORE, Ala. – Ingram State Technical College (ISTC) is hosting the first commencement ceremonies in two years celebrating the achievements of 214 students who have received their Technical Certificate of Completion, GED, or high school diploma since the pandemic began.
Ingram State held commencement ceremonies at Bibb Correctional Facility (Brent, Alabama) on May 10, Donaldson Correctional Facility (Bessemer, Alabama) on May 12, and two ceremonies at the Staton Instructional Service Center (Elmore, Alabama) on May 17. and May 19. Those recognized included male and female graduates of 18 of the college’s technical career programs.
Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm was introduced as the keynote speaker at the men’s graduation ceremony held on Thursday. Commissioner Hamm spoke to graduates about how the technical training they receive at Ingram creates opportunities for success in the Alabama workforce.
“Alabama needs skilled workers who can meet the demands of today’s workforce,” Commissioner Hamm said. “The skills and tools you have developed over the past few years at Ingram State Technical College have given you a greater chance of success once you leave the Department of Corrections. With your certifications and technical training, you have the opportunity to join the Alabama workforce on your day of release as a qualified professional in the trade.
Deputy Commissioner Dr. Wendy Williams of the Alabama Department of Corrections was the keynote speaker at the women’s graduation ceremony held on Tuesday. Dr. Williams spoke about the importance of education and the impact their decision to change will have on their lives.
“Today’s graduates have achieved success through months and years of hard work, perseverance and dedication,” Williams said. “The fact that you are here this morning at this pivotal stage of growth speaks to the strength that defines each of you to leave bitterness and the past behind.”
“With the skills they have learned, these graduates are poised to become a viable part of Alabama’s workforce,” said President Annette Funderburk. “Ingram is focused on training students in high-demand, high-paying jobs that best benefit student success after release.”
Graduation is a central point in the prison-to-workforce pipeline where students receive a quality education, gain hands-on experience through on-the-job training, transition to full-time employment full in the field through the ADOC work release program and are released. with the tools and skills to join the Alabama workforce.
Ingram State Technical College is a fully accredited member of the Alabama Community College System which exclusively serves incarcerated students. The College offers training in 18 professional and technical programs.