McCOOK, Nebraska -- A carpentry class will be offered this summer to inmates and probationers at the Nebraska Department of Corrections Work Ethic Camp in McCook.
The class joins the roster of other programs at WEC and is part of the philosophy of the facility to teach inmates/probationers life skills they can use after completing the six-month WEC program.
The class will begin in June and be limited to eight students, said Pam Morello, WEC director, at the WEC Community Involvement Committee meeting Tuesday morning.
Greg Cudzillo, an instructor at the North Platte campus of Mid Plains Community College, will teach the basic skills of carpentry in the eight-week class at the CAST building. Students who successfully complete the program will have OSHA certification, Morello said.
Two sheds will built and sold, with the proceeds going to costs of the next class.
The class is being funded by synNergy, is a grant funded project coordinated through the Nebraska Department of Labor.
Indicators show that interest is high in the class, Morello said.
Another class that will begin in July is a business technology class, that will teach keyboarding and computer skills. This had been offered before but discontinued because of waning interest, according to Morello.
Those who complete the course will have seven credit hours from McCook Community College, experience with resume building and other business skills.
At WEC, all inmates and probationers are involved in some sort of program, Morello added, whether it's the welding program, road crew, life skills, cognitive re-structuring or obtaining a GED.
Current census numbers have 155 inmates/probationers, with 123 males and 32 females. Of that number, 93 are inmates and 62 probationers.
From the recent population, 31 counties are represented, the majority coming from Scotts Bluff County. An increase has also been seen from Gage County in Beatrice, Nebraska.
In March, there were 46 discharges, with 41 successful.
The population of WEC is comprised of those facing felony charges and sentenced to intensive supervised probation and inmates from correctional facilities who meet certain criteria and have a short amount of time left on their sentence.