Ingram State Holds First Commencement Ceremony Since COVID-19 Pandemic

J. F. Ingram State Technical College hosted its first commencement ceremonies in two years this May, celebrating 214 students who earned technical certificates of completion, a GED, or high school diploma since the onset of the pandemic.

ISTC held ceremonies at Bibb and Donaldson correctional facilities as well as two ceremonies for men and women graduates at the Draper instructional service center. 

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm was the featured speaker for the men’s graduation ceremony at Draper. He spoke to the graduates about how the technical training they receive at Ingram creates opportunities for success in the Alabama workforce.

“Alabama needs qualified workers who can meet the demands of today’s workforce,” said Hamm. “The skills and tools you have developed over the last few years at J. F. Ingram State Technical College give you a greater opportunity to be successful when you leave the Department of Corrections. With your certifications and technical training, you have the opportunity to join the Alabama workforce the day you are released as a qualified professional in the trade.”

ADOC Deputy Commissioner Dr. Wendy Williams served as the commencement speaker for the female graduation ceremony. Dr. Williams spoke about the importance of education and the impact the graduate’s decision to change will have on their lives.

“Today’s graduates have made it as a result of months and years of hard work, perseverance, and dedication,” said Williams. “The fact that you are here this morning, at this pivotal benchmark of growth, is a testament to the strength that defines each of you to leave the bitterness and past behind you.”

“With the skills they have learned, these graduates are prepared to become a viable part of the Alabama workforce,” said President Annette Funderburk. “Ingram is focused on training students in high-wage high-demand jobs that best benefit the students’ success upon release.” 

Graduation is a pivotal point in the prison to workforce pipeline where students receive a quality education, gain hands-on experience through on-the-job training, transition to full-time in-field employment through the ADOC work release program, and are released with the tools and skills needed to join the Alabama workforce.

Ingram State is a fully accredited member of the Alabama Community College System serving incarcerated students exclusively. The College offers training in 18 career and technical programs.