President George W. Bush once said “America is the land of the second chance – when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.” Rise Up Industries takes this quote to heart, providing a re-entry program for ex-gang members through life skills courses and notably, their machine shop.
Located in an industrial corner of Santee, California, the relatively new non-profit machine shop started small. It wasn’t even until May of 2017 that they were able to take on more than two trainees, and their very first graduate completed the program in November of 2017.
Rise Up has lots of Haas machines on hand and beautifully produced parts are scattered in carts among the shop floor. Other than the training they receive on machines, the trainees also take part in life skills training, meet with a case manager, have counseling, and they even participate in a book club every Friday.
“I’ve been in mold making and tool making [for years] – I grew up in it,” says Dustin Greeves, who is the Rise Up Machine Shop Manager. “My grandfather owned his own shop for 25 years and I say this trade will give you everything you give it. It may not happen right away, but it will.” Read on, for more info!