The new program, which is a joint venture between PRIDE Enterprises, the Florida Department of Corrections and Palm Beach State College, is a 425-hour college credit course with full state college certification through Palm Beach State College.
“We’re excited to have launched this new diesel mechanic training and certificate program,” said Blake Brown, president of PRIDE Enterprises. “The certificates earned through this program are more than pieces of paper; they are tickets to a future filled with possibility.”
With only one state college in Florida offering a diesel mechanic program and over 1,000 diesel mechanic job openings in the state, PRIDE Enterprises partnered with Palm Beach State College to create the new training and certificate program to help address the pressing need for diesel mechanics in the state.
“This is a demand that this program aims to meet,” said Brown. “Upon completion of their sentences, inmates who have graduated from the program will be stepping into a job market hungry for their expertise, with the potential for not just employment, but for careers that promise financial stability and personal fulfillment.”
“The program has an immersive blend of theory and practice, combining classroom instruction with hands-on experience in a fully equipped shop,” said Remero Green, vice president of inmate programs and training for PRIDE Enterprises. “Lead by a seasoned instructor, inmates will be able to delve into the intricacies of diesel engines. They will learn to diagnose, repair, and maintain a wide array of vehicles, from heavy-duty trucks to agricultural machinery.”
As part of the full college level certification program, inmates will also have the opportunity to complete an Automotive Service Excellence Certification, which is the most coveted certification for mechanics in the United States.
“The significance of this program extends beyond the classroom,” said Brown. “For these inmates, it isn’t just about acquiring skills; it is about gaining a tangible opportunity for a second chance. Upon successful completion of the program, they will transition into a commercial work program with PRIDE Enterprises. Here, they will put their newfound expertise to practical use, honing their skills in a controlled, professional environment.”
The diesel mechanic training and certificate program will require inmates to undergo a rigorous credentialing and certification process to ensure proficiency in the field so that inmates can successfully enter the job market upon completion of their sentences.