Ex-Inmates Get Second Chance Through New Tulsa Trade School Program

Monday, January 17th 2022, 9:58 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A state lawmaker from Tulsa is starting a new construction trade school for people getting out of prison.

State Senator Kevin Matthews said it's about giving people who have served their time a fair shot at re-entering society.

"Many people make mistakes and some of these people have made mistakes that cause them to go into the system. But now they have a second chance," he said.

The project is personal to Matthews.

His childhood home was transformed into the future site of the North Tulsa Community Construction School by Carl Walker; a contractor who will teach there.

"I mean you've got to break the cycle," Walker said.

The overall goal is much bigger than teaching people how to build.

It's the chance for an entirely new life working with local construction companies and Habitat for Humanity.

"All are going to offer them jobs immediately after graduating," Matthews said.

A livable, stable income helps build wealth and independence.

"We'll stop seeing people return to prison because they had to revert to breaking the law to make a living," Matthews said. "We'll create more new homeowners that can pass property down to the next generation, that's legacy building."

The construction school will build-up dozens of future workers.

Matthew hopes it'll help tear down the negative image of people who were formerly incarcerated.

"To help these individuals not go back to prison, to help them know that they're valued. Because sometimes people just throw them away. Sometimes people just forget about them, or they put some X on their forehead like they're no good. And that's not true," Matthews said.

There's still more work to be done but Matthews and Walker hope to have the school up and running on March 1st, 2022.

You can find out more about the program by visiting this link: https://www.uidctulsa.org/