The Vocational Village is a first-of-its-kind skilled trades training program that aims to provide a positive learning community for prisoners who are serious about completing career and technical education.Read More >
It is located at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility, a level II, medium security prison in Ionia. A second site will begin operating soon at Parnall Correctional Facility, a level I prison in Jackson.
When operating at full capacity, the Vocational Village at Handlon Correctional Facility has 165 vocational trade students, 27 vocational trade tutors and 12 building trade workers.
The second Vocational Village site in Jackson is expected to have capacity for more than 200 prisoners to enroll in skilled trades programming.
Prisoners participating in Vocational Village programming are housed together one unit that acts as a therapeutic learning environment that supports their success.
By housing prisoners together who share a common goal of improving their lives through education, a positive and productive environment has been created. Housing the prisoners together offers many advantages such as the opportunity to discuss educational topics during non-class time, eating together and attending other programs and leisure time activities.
Prisoners have full days of training and classroom instruction intended to mimic a typical workday outside prison walls, and will receive state and nationally-recognized certifications in their trade.
Featured Video Information
- Vocational Village Named Newsmaker Finalist for 2016
The Vocational Village, an innovative and first-of-its-kind program in the nation, was announced as a Newsmaker Finalist for 2016 by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
Vocational Village Media Coverage
- >>Additional coverage on the Vocational Village can be found here<<
Warden Dewayne Burton talks about Vocational Village – Field Days Podcast
Prisoners getting a second chance with vocational programs – Ionia Sentinel-Standard
‘Vocational Village’ program helps Mich. Inmates prepare for future jobs – Oakland County Legal News
Program moves people from prison to paychecks – Grand Rapids Business Journal
Job training program at state prison aims to help inmates find work upon release – Crain’s Detroit Business
One company’s experience in hiring ex-cons – Crain’s Detroit Business
Snyder tours skills program giving hope to inmates – Detroit News
Gov. Rick Snyder visits prison – Ionia Sentinel-Standard
Michigan’s skilled trades offer opportunities for everyone – Governor’s Blog