Vocational/Life Skills Programs

Vocational/Life Skills Programs

Being prepared to work upon release is an important component to successful reentry and how we keep people safe. NDCS offers a variety of vocational and life skills training programs. 

In 2014, the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 907, which allocated funds for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to partner with community agencies to provide vocational & life skills training to people while incarcerated, on parole or under probation supervision and for up to 18 months after discharge. The providers apply for a grant and are selected based on specified criteria. The current two-year grant cycle, which began in July of 2016, includes the vocational & life skills partners*** listed below. 

These grant-funded programs, along with other vocational programs listed below, provide a variety of services intended to increase employability and reduce recidivism. They target the five stabilizing factors including: housing, employment/education, mental health, substance use, and supportive relationships. 

Programsort ascending Description
Welding Apprenticeship

Teaches welding skills.


Need addressed:  Employment

Upholstery Apprenticeship

Trains staff in the skills of doing upholstery work.


Need addressed:  Employment

Truck Driver Simulator

Prepares students for taking CDL after release.


Need addressed:  Employment.

TRADE Program: Vocational and Life Skills Program ***

The TRADE Program teaches conflict resolution; critical thinking; communication; personal finance; healthy relationships; basic computer; job preparation.


Needs Addressed:  Life skills; employment.

Serve Safe

Food safety certification course which covers food borne illness, how to prevent it; purchasing and receiving guidelines; food prep, holding and serving guidelines; food safety management, systems and sanitation guidelines.


Needs addressed:  Employment; life skills.

Resume Workshop

Assists participants prepare for interviews; create resumes; do employment searches.


Needs addressed:  Employment; vocationa;; life skills.

Resume class

The Omaha Public Library provides resume classes to help incarcerated individuals prepare for employment searches and interviews.


Need addressed:  Employment; vocational Life skills.

Released and Restored

Released and Restored provides life skills training for employment, finances and consumer education. The program also focuses on helping individuals learn critical thinking skills, recognize distorted thinking and develop techniques to address problem areas.


Needs Addressed:  Support; pro-social/outside interest

Reconnect: Success Prep

Helps participants examine behaviors and attitudes that may have contributed to their incarceration and focus on skills critical to reentry.


Needs addressed:  Attitudes, behavior, life skills.

ReConnect: Final Number

Helps participants learn to make better choices and examine thinking patterns, preparing them to take advantage of opportunities in prison that will help them succeed.


Needs addressed:  Attitudes, behavior.

Reconnect Workshop

Workshop including movie and discussion.


Needs addressed:  Attitudes, behavior, pro-social activity.

Planning with a Purpose

Planning with a Purpose teaches constructive thinking, conflict resolution, responsibility and goal setting.


Need addressed:  Life skills.

Offset Press Operator Apprenticeship

Training in how to operate and offset printer in the Print Shop.


Need addressed:  Employment.

Nebraska Dept. of Transportation Flagger Course

The course provides necessary instruction and testing for certification as an NDOT Road Construction Flagger.  This certification is good for two years.


Need addressed:  Employment.

Money Matters

Teaches how to plan, save and budget.


Need addressed:  Life skills.

Midplains CPR and First Aid Training

CPR and First Aid training.


Need addressed:  Life skills.

Midplains Community College Forklift Operator Safety Training

Forklift operating and use training.


Need addressed:  Employment.

Midplains Community College Focus Four Hazards Training

Trains participants to respond to falls, caught in between, struck by and electrocutions--OSHA hazards focus.


Need addressed:  Employment and life skills.

Midplains Community College Classes Intro to Business Credit Course

Higher level education.


Needs addressed:  Education; life skills; outside interest.

Midplains Commercial Driver's License Preparatory Training

Commercial Driver's License Training.


Need addressed:  Employment.

Metro community College Forklift Certification

Training in operating and using a forklift.  Need addressed:  Employment.

Metro Community College Employability Skills

Allow students to enhance their interpersonal skills, improve ability to work in teams, learn to communicate effectively, think creatively, use problem solving techniques, and explore competive job-seeking strategies.


Need addressed:  Employment.

Mental Health Association Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Discusses de-escalation; decision making and consequences; how trauma has affected a person; and how to overcome negative ways of dealing with stressful situations and crises.  Need addressed:  Life skills.

Mental Health Association ***

This grant program provides short-term transitional housing and supported employment services for formerly incarcerated adults living with behavioral health issues. (HOPE, REAL, Honu House) 

Launch Leadership

Program designed to build leadership skills based upon communication.


Need addressed:  Life skills.

Inner Circle/Winner Circle

Presentations provided by former inmates of NDCS, or inmates in the community explaining the struggles they experienced on their journey through NDCS.


Needs addressed:  Support; outside interest; life skills.

Heartland Workforce Development

The course assists youth in preparing for a career and job seeking.


Need addressed:  Employment.

Forklift Training

Training in how to use and operate a forklift.


Need addressed:  Employment

Financial Literacy

Course offered by Mutual of Omaha educate so participants can understand finances.


Need addressed:  Life skills.

Defy Ventures

This program targets entrepreneurial-minded individuals and offers intensive leadership development, business plan competitions, executive mentoring, financial investment, and startup incubation.


Needs addressed:  Life skills; employment.

Cabinet Maker Apprentice

Apprenticeship for learning carpentry skills. 


Need addressed:  Employment

Budgeting Workshop

Assists participants to identify needs vs. wants.  Basic money management skills are presented. 


Need Addressed:  Life skills

Associated Linen Management Certification

Teaches skills in the area of laundry management. 


Need Addressed:  Employment

Alpha

Alpha promotes daily living skills for offenders and encourages character development. All classes are biblically based and open to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation. The program includes lessons on addiction prevention, understanding marriage, understanding parenthood and managing finances.


Needs Addressed:  Attitudes; behavior; life skills.

ABC OSHA General Industries

This course provides entry-level information about employee rights; employer responsibilities; how to file a complaint; how to identify and prevent job related hazards. 


Need Addressed:  Employment

ABC Core Curriculum

This program includes basic construction safety; introduction to construction math, hand tools, power tools, construction drawings and basic rigging; communication skills; and material handling.


Need addressed:  Employment

ABC Construction: OSHA Certificate***

This program provides an overview of safety applications on a construction site as well as training on governmental regulations.


Need Addressed:  Employment

ABC Construction: Construction Technology***

A program which trains in construction application by allowing students to experience work-based learning and hands-on in the areas of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drywall, roofing, finish carpentry and painting.


Need Addressed:  Employment

ABC Applied Construction Math

This program provides learning in the area of construction math such as calculating area, angles, volumes, pressure, shapes; solving for the unknown; and reading measurements.


Need Addressed:  Employment