EDC 2 7 21MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/21/18) — Hopkins County Jail inmates are receiving hands-on training to learn trades through a new certification program.

After spending weeks learning to manipulate metal through the application of extreme heat, the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corp. announced three inmates earned certificates for successfully completing the inaugural Kentucky INSINC introductory welding program.

Kentucky INSINC, which stands for "Inmates Need Skills in New Careers," is a partnership between the jail and EDC’s Kentucky Movers and Makers.

The program allows incarcerated volunteers to become certified in basic welding through a 30-hour course of instruction.

“I cannot thank Ray Hagerman and the amazing staff at Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development enough for all of their hard work,” said Jailer Mike Lewis. “The programs that they have helped us provide are a great resource for positive change in our community.”

Phillip Phelps, Chad Thomas and Joe Roedig were the first to complete the program.

A ceremony was held at Hopkins County Jail Thursday, which included members of the EDC team, board members and the jail staff.

Inmates participating in pilot program went above and beyond the 30-hour requirement, clocking in more than 80 instructional hours, said Eddie Milum, director of MHEDC's Kentucky Movers and Makers.

“The program will continue with a new welding class beginning mid-fall with additional programs being implemented, which include masonry, general construction and basic electricity,” Milum said.

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