Since the facility’s opening in 2013, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has struggled to find and retain a reliable, knowledgeable environmental services workforce for correctional and medical facilities. The unique nature of the organization and its facilities—its mission, its need for confidentiality, its sophisticated training requirements, its stringent cleaning requirements, its security clearance mandates, and the people skills required for patient interaction—presented significant challenges to delivering business excellence with a positive social impact.

A Reliable, Effective Workforce

“Before PRIDE Industries, CDCR used an inmate porter system, civil service personnel, and another contractor, but there were a lot of hiring and retention issues with all three,” said a Correctional Business Manager the department. “Then we found PRIDE Industries. Not only did their experience and expertise stand out, but so did their mission to create employment for people with disabilities.”

Beginning with environmental services at facilities in Stockton and Vacaville, in 2019 PRIDE Industries contract with CDCR expanded to the California Medical Facility (CMF), the healthcare service provider at both sites. CMF had experienced emergency environmental services shortfalls due to staffing shortages and put licensure, inmate and employing safety, and patient care at risk.

The PRIDE Industries team’s efforts and infrastructure also resulted in CMF reaching a Healthcare Assessment Maintenance score of 97.1% as of June 2022. These results point to measurable outcomes which preserve the facility’s licensure and its environment of care for patient housing and treatment, ultimately reducing the spread of disease and infection.

The 70 people with disabilities employed by PRIDE Industries at CDCR look forward to working every day. Unlike so many people with disabilities, workers at CHCR are able to experience the dignity of a paycheck and the satisfaction that comes with meaningful work. They’re inspired, and that inspiration has led to low turnover, low absenteeism, and diligent work practices—in other words, business excellence. Many of these employees have advanced in their careers from entry level roles to manager and director responsibilities.

Below, one of these dedicated employees describes her experience with PRIDE Industries at CMF means to them in her own words.

Patricia’s Story

Patricia Prescott has worked as an EVS technician at CMF since December 13, 2020.

I am an EVS tech. I go into the units that PRIDE Industries my company, cleans. We clean cells, offices, nurse stations, exam rooms and medication rooms, bathrooms. We also clean up floodings, and blood, pepper spray, poop, and on occasion vomit.

I like helping others out. I also enjoy cleaning. It relaxes me and helps me think. It’s also amazing exercise and you learn new things every day.

PRIDE Industries has helped me through some hard times. They’re an amazing company to work for. I am very thankful that they’re patient and understanding with my situation.

Some employers would never think about hiring people with disabilities because in their minds they aren’t capable of doing the job. The word “disability” is off-putting to employers. They have negative thoughts about people with disabilities.

They should take a chance on us and let us prove and show you that we are capable of doing the job. Believe in us, because what if that was you? Wouldn’t you want an employer to take a chance on you?

I am very thankful and appreciate PRIDE Industries. My husband is very sick and he’s in and out of the hospital. PRIDE Industries has been very supportive of me and has helped me out. I continue to have a job and I am able to provide for my family because PRIDE Industries is an amazing company. They understand what I am going through and have programs to help me. They offer me help when I need it. Most important, they hire people with disabilities. This company gives us chances to work, gives us opportunities to put ourselves out there trying new things that we think we were never able to do before.

I never once thought I’d step foot into a prison or let alone be working in one. I love my job and am very happy and thankful for it. I plan on staying and helping PRIDE Industries out just like they have helped me.

Business Excellence with a Positive Social Impacte

In just a few years, PRIDE Industries has helped CDCR and CMF move from having a hard time hiring and retaining employees with service shortfalls that put health, safety, and licensure at risk, to a thriving workforce and a stellar Healthcare Assessment Maintenance record. All the while, employees have experienced life-changing employment experiences.

Looking to make a social impact?

PRIDE Industries builds inclusive, diverse work environments where people with disabilities can thrive. Is your company seeking well-trained, reliable employees? Join our Employment Partner Network today to experience business excellence with a positive social impact.
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