From Samantha Rose
Admin. Assistant to President Annette Funderburk
Ingram State Technical College
Top Photo: ISTC celebrates graduates from Tutwiler Prison for Women on Tuesday with a commencement ceremony and celebratory meal with family members.
ELMORE, Ala. – Ingram State Technical College (ISTC) hosts the first commencement ceremonies in two years by celebrating the accomplishments of 214 students who received their technical certificate of completion, GED, or high school diploma since the onset of the pandemic.
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 19. Individuals recognized included male and female graduates from 18 of the college’s career technical programs.
Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm was featured as the commencement speaker for the male graduation ceremony held on Thursday. Commissioner Hamm spoke to the graduates about how the technical training they receive at Ingram creates opportunities for success in the Alabama workforce.
“Alabama needs qualified workers who can meet the demands of today’s workforce,” said Commissioner Hamm. “The skills and tools you have developed over the last few years at Ingram State Technical College have given you a greater opportunity to be successful once you leave the Department of Corrections. With your certifications and technical training you have the opportunity to join the Alabama workforce the day you are released as a qualified professional in the trade.”
Deputy Commissioner Dr. Wendy Williams of the Alabama Department of Corrections served as the commencement speaker for the female 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 made it as a result of months and years of hard work, perseverance, and dedication,” said Williams. “The fact that you are here this morning, at this pivotal benchmark of growth, is a testament to the strength that defines each of you to leave the bitterness and past behind you.”
“With the skills they have learned, these graduates are prepared to become a viable part of the Alabama workforce,” said President Annette Funderburk. “Ingram is focused on training students in high-wage high-demand jobs that best benefit the students’ success upon release.”
Graduation is a pivotal 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 in-field employment through the ADOC work release program, and are released with the tools and skills needed to join the Alabama workforce.
Ingram State Technical College is a fully accredited member of the Alabama Community College System serving incarcerated students exclusively. The College offers training in 18 career and technical programs.