INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On Thursday, Ivanka Trump and other influential visitors praised a re-entry program during a visit to the Indiana Women’s Prison.
The Last Mile hopes to provide inmates with skills they need to get a tech job. It prepares incarcerated individuals for successful reentry through business and technology training.
This coding program launched in California and Indiana was one of the first states to start it outside of California. Right now, there are five classrooms in the Hoosier state.
The co-founders of The Last Mile said they have a zero percent recidivism rate.
Several participants showed their projects to Trump, Governor Eric Holcomb, Apple CEO Tim Cook and MC Hammer.
It was an appropriate backdrop for a meeting with the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.
“Across the country we are experiencing record low unemployment across every demographic,” said Trump. “One of the demographics that is most vulnerable though is the formerly incarcerated.”
When The Last Mile launched in Indianapolis in 2018, MC Hammer was in town to celebrate the beginning of the program. Then, Governor Holcomb challenged the Indiana Department of Corrections to train and graduate 1,000 or more offenders each year into high-demand occupations by 2020.
“To make sure they get an opportunity to be equipped with the skills necessary,” said MC Hammer.
The tour was following by a meeting with the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. This group provides advice to encourage the private sector and educational institutions to combat the skills crisis by investing in and increasing demand-driven education, training, and re-training, including training through apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities.
“Making sure that in this economy, the aperture is open and the pathways are available for all Americans to secure employment,” said Trump.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was also at the meeting. He left early because he said he needed to attend an unexpected meeting at the White House. This came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House will move forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.