The Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) is proud to partner with the Rock City Reentry Program (RCRP) to offer hope and purpose to returning citizens. 2023 was filled with many inspiring stories of success, including the paths forged by Jesse Spann and Stirling Blume.
From Detention to Welding School: The Jesse Spann Story
Jesse Spann was once a resident at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Center in Little Rock. During his time in CSI Academy, the detention center’s reentry program, he realized that he needed a change in his life.
Mr. Spann entered the Rock City Reentry program on June 26, 2023 and also applied for the Future Fit program, offered by the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College, which focuses on training for production operators. He was accepted into the Future Fit program on July 11, 2023 and graduated on September 7, 2023.
After being released from incarceration on September 15, 2023, Mr. Spann early sought employment opportunities to use his newly acquired certification. He was hire by Lexicon almost immediately. Since October 26, 2023, he has added to his skillset by attending welding school within the company. He is currently making $15 per hour, a rate that should increase as he fulfills plans to work his way up through the company.
From Incarceration to Success: Stirling Blume’s Story
Amidst the bleak confines of the Pulaski County Regional Detention facility, Stirling Blume embarked on a path of redemption. Through the Rock City Reentry Program, Stirling found new purpose. He graduated from the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College’s Future Fit program, which offered a beacon of hope as well as a chance to escape addiction, repeated incarceration and loss.
As soon as Stirling’s journey began, he noticed significant changes within himself. The programs gave him, the confidence and drive he needed to regain his footing. Stirling was no longer alone, homeless, or unsure about his future. The programs provided him with a foundation for steady footing, tools to start over, and a cornerstone to build a new life. The once lost soul found solace in the companionship and guidance of the Rock City family.
With the support of Butler Furniture Depot, a Rocky City Reentry Program partner, Stirling, was able to readjust to life outside the walls of confinement, gaining valuable skills and experience. Stirling’s hard work paid off as he was hired full-time, received two pay raises, and trusted with the ability to lead a team of staff and become a store keyholder.
His journey is a testament to the positive impact of reentry programs and the power of second chances.