NCCER Program Giving Men the Skills and Hope Needed for Successful Re-Entry
“The main thing is to get the young men in here, get them in class, and you teach them. The old saying says ‘you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, you teach him to fish, he’ll eat a lifetime’,” says Larry Jackson, an instructor at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.
Larry Jackson is the instructor of the relatively new National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification class at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility in Woodville, Mississippi.
David Crabb was a student and is now a tutor.
“I’ve been building houses and things all my life,” says David. “Although I knew how to do everything, I was never NCCER-certified. Which means, in this day and time, if you don’t have that paper, it really doesn’t mean a whole lot.”
David is likely to be released soon. And he has a job lined up with the re-entry program for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, where he’ll continue to help men learn the construction trade.
“If I was not NCCER-certified, I wouldn’t be able to work for the re-entry program,” he says. “You see I can’t quit smiling. That right there is more than I could ever dream of.”
“I have all the confidence that David Crabb will leave here and be a very successful businessman when he leaves here,” says Warden Darrel Vannoy.
Many students of Larry Jackson and the NCCER program are quick to praise the opportunity they’ve been given.
“I just started the NCCER [program] a few months ago,” explains Patrick Burns. “It’s been wonderful, David Crabb being the tutor, Mr. Jackson being the instructor – it’s a wonderful class. It’s a stress reliever. When you walk into class and you see something you built, it feels good.”
“We have several young men that have taken the test and have passed it,” Larry says.
“Mr. Jackson is a very nice, patient man,” Warden Vannoy says. “He takes his time with them, he goes the extra mile, gives them extra instruction when they need it. He’s a real caring guy. We’re very blessed to have Mr. Jackson, as we are [to have] so many good staff here.”