“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 President George W. Bush quote to heart.
The SoCal machine shop provides a re-entry program for ex-gang members. Courses on machining, as well as life skills courses, helps to build better machinists and people.
They started small. It wasn’t until May of 2017 that they were able to take on more than two trainees. Their very first graduate completed the program in November of 2017.
Rise Up has Haas machines on hand – beautifully produced parts scattered in carts among the shop. The trainees receive machine training and take part in life skills training. They meet with a case manager, have counseling, and even participate in a Friday book club.
“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!
“You can make a really good living being a machinist, tool maker, inspection,” Dustin continued, saying how important the experiences are for him imparting his experience to trainees.
“All these guys in here are amazing and they’re like family, so we depend on each other. We help each other with the workload and the daily struggle.”
A trainee named John told us the tale of how he has gone from being a criminal to a responsible adult holding down three jobs. Before learning about Rise Up from a parole agent, he was working through a staffing agency.
John was doing heavy-duty construction work. He was away from home from about 5 in the morning until around 7 at night.
With a skills gap of over 2 Million jobs needing filling in the manufacturing industry, ex-gang members leaving prison could be a great resource. It would also provide them with a stable career after prison.
Programs like Rise Up, as well as the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program, could ultimately help ex-convicts from being arrested again, as well as to help an industry badly in need of skilled workers.
During the visit to Rise Up, Shop Floor Automations President Greg Mercurio was humbled. “It’s awesome just to see,” he said, his eyes wide behind his safety glasses. “I’ve never been around anyone who has had that experience, to talk to them. What a life story and the changes that come out of it.”
Here are some ways in which you can donate to Rise Up Industries:
• GivingTuesday.org will match donations up to $100,000
• The CoinUp app donates your spare change from credit card purchases to a charity you choose
• Use AmazonSmile when you check out and they donate a portion of the sale to a charity of your choosing, at no cost to you
Other than machining parts in their shop, Rise Up has a diverse list of services. They also do screen printing/embroidery and they sell locally roasted, specialty gourmet coffee.
For more information on donations or services, call (619) 457-0790. You can also visit their website for more information.
If you have a machine shop and are looking to boost your productivity through automation software and hardware, we would love it if you gave SFA a call! Call (619) 461-4000 or fill out a contact form for one of our many solutions.