Florida Department of Corrections Partners with the Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence to Invest in Re-Entry Programs

Heavy Equipment Operator Program expanded to include new equipment for female inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution

August 18, 2023
Contact: FDC Communications

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OCALA, Fla - To ensure all inmates are prepared for successful re-entry into Florida's communities upon release. Secretary Dixon announced that the Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence (FFCE), the Direct Support Organization for the Florida Department of Corrections, awarded new CAT® Simulators for the Heavy Equipment Operations program at Lowell Correctional Institution. The new simulators support incarcerated women nearing release by investing in positive programming opportunities.

"When we prioritize successful re-entry programs, we prioritize public safety. I want to thank our Governor for creating the FFCE, and the FFCE board for their commitment to fostering growth and investing in Florida's communities," said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon. "By implementing positive programs within our facilities, we empower individuals with the essential skills to succeed and secure jobs in high-demand industries after their release."

"As Florida Department of Correction's direct-support organization, Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence is honored to participate in bringing together public and private partners to increase investment in transition programs and workforce training to expand re-entry efforts further," said Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence Executive Director Erica Averion. "This is what we hope to be one of many programs we help the Department to unveil and implement."

"This great event at Lowell Correctional was about caring and connections. Connecting tools and trades. Connecting returning citizens and employers. We know equipping returning citizens with a skillset gives them the ability to perform a job and earn a wage, said Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence Chairman Denver Stutler, Jr. "FDC is to be commended for their focus on mission while continuously improving their processes. A day like this is possible because of the leadership at FDC."

The program offers comprehensive training in first aid, CPR, flagging, and wraparound services, including resume writing and job search assistance. Participants earn industry-recognized credentials, such as National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core, Heavy Equipment Level 1 and 2, and OSHA 10, while learning to operate and maintain heavy equipment like tractors and excavators.

For more information on the Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence, visit flcorrectionalexcellence.com.