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Reentry to the Workforce

June 30, 2021

By Tim Kelly

Communications Office

(Tim Kelly, Communications Office)

In October 2020, Hyuk Ro was on the bus out of a correctional facility to the Bishop Lewis work release facility. Shortly after his arrival at Bishop Lewis, Ro was able to apply his experience with Correctional Industries (CI) in wastewater treatment into a job with the City of Edmonds.

“If I didn’t have CI, honestly, I probably wouldn’t be working here right now. I would probably, eventually work at a wastewater plant but I would be way behind the ball right now,” said Ro.

Ro was working at the Correctional Industries warehouse in Tumwater when he was hired as a wastewater operator for Correctional Industries on McNeil Island.

During his first six months, he learned the basics and when his managers saw he was serious about wastewater treatment, he was taught lab work and principles. While at work release, Correctional Industries Workforce Development helped him draft a resume and a few months later, he was hired as a wastewater operator for the City of Edmonds.

“I think that the people going through the training have a good basis of understanding. They’ve had good structure, and they’ve been in the basic roles for long enough to be able to develop those skills,” said the City of Edmonds Wastewater Treatment Manager Pamela Randolph.

The department is committed to supporting people’s success and providing opportunities, and that is evident when Ro speaks.

“Before I went to prison, my family and I, were not in contact and now my relationship with them is the best it’s ever been. They’re so supportive and, this whole experience, it’s saved my life, man.”