The RV Technical Institute has been establishing its hands-on, competency-based technician training program among the incarcerated population, including with the inmates at the Linda Woodman State Jail, which is operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The goal is twofold: the RV industry delivers a greater number of qualified service technicians while previously incarcerated individuals leave with a new skillset, prepared to enter the workforce upon their release. Learn more about the program below.
After 24 years of working for private industry, Mark Munday of Gatesville found a new calling in teaching valuable work skills to female prison inmates that can help them build a new future.
Munday teaches women who are incarcerated at the Woodman Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice how to be RV technicians. The job is in high demand, and those working in that career can earn a comfortable living. Technicians Munday talked to told him they can work as many hours as they want and can earn $100,000 per year if they are willing to put in the time.
Through the Windham School District that serves the Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates, Munday has the ability to help transform lives.
"If they can get a job (after they leave the Texas Department of Criminal Justice), it's definitely a win-win situation," Munday said during a presentation to the Gatesville Exchange Club. "It makes me feel good that they can get a job and be productive. Taxpayers pay for their education, but once they start making an income, they give back by paying taxes."
The women learn a variety of skills in repairing RV systems, including electrical, plumbing, propane and refrigerators.
"They all come in knowing nothing which is great – I can train them the right way," Munday said.
"There is a big waiting list, and they love getting the opportunity to do this. They can come in and learn a lot right away."
The program is at the Woodman Unit because the women serving there have shorter sentences than some of the other women's prisons, meaning they can put those skills to use on the job much more quickly.
"The goal is to keep them from coming back to prison, and if they are able to learn skills that will qualify them for good jobs, then they don't come back," Munday said.
"They get certificates for passing tests and that helps them get jobs. I tell them just because they've been in prison doesn't mean they can't get a job and turn their lives around. It's just a great opportunity for them."
Read the full article from The Gatesville Messenger here.