Grant Funds to Provide Opportunities for Inmates to Develop Employment Skills

Lakeshore Technical College will provide work readiness and welding instruction.





Reducing the chance of former inmates becoming incarcerated again is the goal of a new pilot program launching in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties thanks to grant funds and local program partners. A newly awarded $75,000 Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development grant is supplementing other grant funds which combined, total a $160,000 investment in the program. The funds will support opportunities for Manitowoc and Sheboygan county jail inmates to become better prepared to re-enter the community and avoid future incarceration. 

The grant was awarded to a consortium including Lakeshore Technical College, Bay Area Workforce Development, and Great Lakes Training and Development. The three organizations will work together in providing individuals with general work readiness skills, welding training, services for transitioning smoothly into the community, and post-release employment services and case management.

“As a partner in this pilot program, we are confident the individuals we work with will see education as the path to a brighter future for themselves and their families,” said Lakeshore President Dr. Paul Carlsen. “We also look forward to this program helping fill the continuing need in our community for skilled workers.”

Lakeshore will fill two instructional roles in the program. The first is to provide instruction in basic work readiness skills such as communicating, problem solving, and writing. Resume writing, interviewing, and financial literacy skill development will also be provided. The second role is to provide welding training. 

Welding was selected because it is a high-demand skill offering family-sustaining wages. It can also be taught within the one-year or less timeframe individuals typically spend in county jail. In addition, advanced welding education leading to more and higher-paying job opportunities can be obtained after incarceration ends. Lakeshore will work with jail administration to provide laptops for inmates so they can complete some course material. Hands-on technical work will be completed when Lakeshore welding instructors bring portable training equipment to the jails. 

Together with Lakeshore, Great Lakes Training and Development will provide employability skills, soft skill training, and financial literacy development to help the participating individuals transition back into the community. Great Lakes will also provide employment services and case management.

Bay Area Workforce Development will coordinate the program and monitor its results through June 2022.

For information about Lakeshore Technical College, visit

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About Lakeshore Technical College

Each year more than 10,000 people enroll in courses at Lakeshore Technical College. They rely on LTC for job preparation, to earn a degree, upgrade a specialized skill, train as an apprentice, or seek a high school equivalency. LTC faculty and staff meet students where they are in life and help them get one step closer to achieving their goals.

LTC is a nationally recognized technical college. The college was ranked the #2 two-year college in the nation for adult learners by Washington Monthly, #20 in the nation for two-year college educational outcomes by, a top-150 two-year college for the fifth consecutive time by the Aspen Institute, and a top 10 Bellwether Award finalist for two consecutive years.

Approximately 800 students graduate from LTC each year, and LTC’s associate degree graduates earn a median salary of $52,000 per year. In addition to the Cleveland campus, LTC serves students in Manitowoc and Sheboygan, and offers classes at additional sites throughout the district. Visit LTC at