Thursday, September 4, 2008

Modular Building Construction Program Gets Industry Approval

ISO 9000 Certification Documents Management Qualit

FOLSOM - Construction of modular buildings is the most recent California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) enterprise to be certified as meeting a world-wide industrial standard for quality.

Certification to the ISO 9000 standard is an industry-wide stamp of approval, documenting the quality of the buildings manufactured by CALPIA as well as the business practices that support it, from accounting and marketing to inventory control of raw materials.

Companies such as Siemens, a world wide leader in designing and manufacturing transportation systems from light rail to airports, and chemical industry leader BASF, are among those who have received the ISO 9000 certification.

“The ISO certification documents that the modular buildings we make, as well as our business and manufacturing practices, meet the business world’s highest levels of professionalism,” explained Charles Pattillo, general manager and CEO of the CALPIA. “The ISO approval shows that our inmate labor force is as good as any in the marketplace and that CALPIA’s business practices insure that our customers get quality and cost-effective service.”

The certification is based on an independent audit from ABS Quality Evaluations of Houston, Tx., which reviewed each aspect of CALPIA’s manufacturing procedures and business practices. The certification reflects the auditor’s documentation that each step in the manufacturing process reinforces consistency so that the same level of quality product is produced over and over again.

The certification also documents that all of the business practices that support manufacturing, from inventory control of materials to accounting, marketing and sales, reflect the industry’s best practices by including systems to identify and eliminate problems and develop constant improvements.

CALPIA’s modular buildings are manufactured at Folsom Prison as part of the agency’s Career Technical Education Program, in which inmates are trained in carpentry and other construction skills by journeymen craftsmen. Graduates are eligible for placement in apprenticeships when they are released on parole, as part of a formal agreement between CALPIA and the Northern California Carpenters Local 146.

Approximately 70,000 sq. ft. of buildings have been constructed or are planned by the end of the year, most of which have been purchased by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for use as counseling centers for drug and alcohol treatment programs. The buildings, which feature steel and concrete foundations, offer a 30 year lifespan, far longer than traditional modular buildings.

In addition to its modular building construction program, CALPIA has also received ISO9000 certification for manufacture of office furniture and for its career technical education program in ironworking.
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