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Lansing Inmates Celebrate Graduation

by Rebecca Witte last modified Jan 30, 2020 04:48 PM
The Aramark In2Work program at Lansing Correctional Facility recently celebrated a new class of graduates.

Through Aramark’s In2Work program, 14 more inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF) have earned the qualifications necessary to help them land a job when they’re released from prison.

On Tuesday, Jan. 14, Aramark employees and LCF staff were on hand to celebrate their accomplishments. 

Rachel Hollingshead, Aramark Food Service Director, said that working with this program has been invaluable.

“In2Work gives these inmates a sense of ownership and helps them take pride in their work,” Hollingshead said. “For many, this is the first opportunity they have had to really shine as a professional.”

Aramark has been supporting correctional facilities for more than 15 years through their In2Work vocational training program. Using the skills and knowledge gained through the program, the offenders are able to develop job skills to become more employable upon their return to the community. Those chosen for the program learn about proper food preparation, handling and storage, retail marketing, customer service and management. They also receive hours of hands-on experience in the correctional facility’s kitchen.

Upon completion of the program, inmates will have to pass the same test as anyone studying at an outside school would to earn a nationally recognized certification. Graduates are also able to obtain a Serve Safe Manager certificate. These certifications could help lead them on a path to a better life when they are no longer incarcerated.

For Aaron McDonald, the program helped him expand his background in food service and has inspired him to open his own Mexican restaurant one day.

“This program has opened up a way for me to get a better job one day,” McDonald said. “They taught us all sorts of things about food service, but they also taught us management skills and I can take that with me into any job.”

The program is offered in all nine of Kansas’ correctional facilities and was started in Kansas in 2009. Inmates are able to complete the program in approximately 16 weeks and are then able to continue working, earning wages in the kitchen while preparing food for all of the facility’s inmates. 

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