New Education Program Offers Incarcerated Youth Future Career Options

Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex (KJCC) in Topeka recently launched the Environmental Water Technology program, preparing incarcerated youth the opportunity for future careers in water technology.
The program is a collaborative effort between the community college, Washburn University, the Department of Labor, and the correctional facility and are offered to all residents of KJCC who have completed a high school diploma or GED. Students have the opportunity to receive credentials in four different water technology programs:

  • Water Plant Operation
  • Water Distribution System Operation and Management
  • Waste Water Plant Operation
  • Waste Water Collection System Operation and Maintenance

The facility hosts instructors from Fort Scott Community College (FSCC) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to train the next generation of water technicians.

“We are excited to serve students and provide opportunities for career readiness through this partnership with KJCC,” said Dr. Clayton Tatro, president of FSCC. “Water technology is very much an ‘in-demand’ field with high potential for employment. Working together through this partnership, we can assist in the placement of trained individuals into the industry and their respective communities.”

In addition to time in the classroom, the residents are finding opportunities to employ their diverse skills. They have grown food in a garden, which they donate to local charities, produced a video public service announcement, and have even recorded a heavy metal song to promote environmentally friendly habits.
“The talents of the youth are coming out, and they are engaging with this program,” said Megan Milner, deputy superintendent of KJCC, who oversees educational programs at the facility. “They understand the wonderful opportunity they are being given to prepare for a successful career, and they are applying their youthful energy and enthusiasm to it.”
Students who participate in this program will put themselves in a position to apply for jobs in water technology upon release, jobs which have a median annual income in Kansas of $41,000.

Avery Klein is a digital and social media intern at Prichard Communications. She is from Springfield, Missouri where she attends Missouri State University and is studying public relations, advertising and promotions, and ethical leadership. She loves traveling, discovering new restaurants, social media and her two darling dogs.

Updated: February 08 2018