The Gwinnett County Department of Corrections will host a graduation ceremony for the first graduating class of its welding vocational program at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 28 at the Gwinnett County Comprehensive Correctional Complex, 750 Hi Hope Road in Lawrenceville. The ceremony will honor the program’s 13 graduates and feature speakers including Warden Darrell Johnson.
The 18-week program is offered through a partnership between Gwinnett County Corrections, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Atlanta Regional Commission and Gwinnett Technical College.
Upon completion of the course, inmates earn a certificate in Gas Metal Arc Welding from Gwinnett Tech. Should they choose to return to school after their release, the credits earned during the course can transfer back to Gwinnett Tech as hours that can be used toward a diploma.
Warden Johnson said, “The goal of this program is to make it easier for offenders to succeed once they are released. When they have a skill like welding, it’s easier to find employment and become a productive member of our community, which reduces recidivism.”
Other vocational training offered by Corrections includes forklift licensure, ServSafe, building maintenance and computer science. The department also provides literacy and GED classes for inmates, with GED testing conducted onsite.