While specific industrial job skill training promotes employability; there are universal job skills that are also sought by employers. In order to prepare inmate workers for a wider range of employment options upon release, PRIDE introduced several enhancements to its inmate training programs in 2008.
The Florida Department of Education designated PRIDE as an assessment center for its Ready to Work Program. The Ready to Work program, sponsored by the Florida Legislature, was developed to ensure that Florida’s workforce possesses the competencies necessary to succeed in the competitive marketplace. Its focus is to match employee skill levels to specific job requirements. Program participants are initially assessed in four areas: Reading for Information, Locating Information, Applied Mathematics, and Workplace Readiness. The Ready to Work program provides them with targeted instruction and coursework to enable them to improve any deficiencies. When a participant achieves the required scores, a Florida Ready to Work certificate is awarded, which recognizes the specific skill levels attained.
Job candidates may present this credential to employers as documentation that they have achieved mastery of the four key skills.
The preparatory Ready to Work Courseware is provided to the inmate workers as e-learning, hosted on the inmate LAN server. Inmates within two years of release from incarceration are eligible to participate in the Ready to Work Program.
Use of the Ready to Work Courseware reinforces computer skills and the program content prepares workers for the General Educational Development (GED) diploma examination and the Test of Adult Basic Education (T.A.B.E.), as well as the Ready to Work certification exam.OJT Program certification requires the achievement of minimum grade levels in Math, Language, and Reading as scored on the Test of Adult Basic Education, T.A.B.E. In order to assist inmate workers in the achievement of their OJT certification, selected Mission Programs and industry staff members received T.A.B.E. administration training and were certified as T.A.B.E. Administrators. With this certification, PRIDE staff may now administer the T.A.B.E. to its workers, reducing the burden on the Department of Corrections. The T.A.B.E. testing capability will ensure that eligible inmate workers will receive Certificates of Achievement prior to their release from DC custody.