Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Partnership Provides Youthful Offenders with Job Skills and Keeps Manufacturing and Revenues in California

CHINO - Youthful offenders in Chino will receive valuable job training in manufacturing, and California will keep jobs and tax revenues in the state, under a new partnership announced today by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's (CDCR) Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility is welcoming Rampone Industries to open a new manufacturing facility on its grounds that will employ youthful offenders and provide vocational training as part of the Free Venture Program managed by the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA).

Under CDCR's Free Venture Program, Rampone Industries will set up and operate its business within the confines of the correctional facility and hire motivated wards as its employees. The business will pay these wards comparable wages while providing much needed job skills.

Rampone Industries manufactures store displays and fixtures for numerous well known nationwide stores. CEO Horacio Rampone decided to open this facility rather than expand manufacturing overseas.

"We decided that a partnership with the Division of Juvenile Justice provided an excellent opportunity to benefit California and the young men inside these facilities. It just makes sense," CEO Horacio Rampone said. "The program is a win-win situation. The State of California, the community, the wards, and our company all benefit. The young men come out of this facility with hope, a future, and a positive direction."

Rampone Industries initially intends to employ 10 to 20 workers, but has plans to offer many more jobs in the long term. Juvenile offenders will be working in a variety of positions including shipping and receiving, metal, wood and acrylic manufacturing, finish work and painting.

"Free Venture programs offer incredible benefits by providing these young men with real world job skills," DJJ Chief Deputy Secretary Bernard Warner added. "Our main objective is to get these young men back to the community to be productive workers leading crime free lives."

Free Venture is a partnership between correctional facilities and private businesses that operate inside prison walls while hiring inmates and wards. The program provides compensation to the victims of crime by deducting a portion of the ward's pay.

CALPIA will partner with Rampone Industries to ensure offenders' skills are documented to assist in their transition to employment upon release. Currently, there are two Free Venture programs within the DJJ system with 24 youth employed.