For Immediate Release

May 8, 2018

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla—The second class of inmates participating in a welding program at the Walton County Jail have received their certificate of completion today.

Eight inmates, including two Escambia County inmates currently housed in Walton County, participated in the six-week on-site welding class put on by Northwest Florida State College.

During the course, inmates learn different types of skills including flux core welding and how to use tools like a cutting torch and a plasma cutter by NWFSC Adjunct Professor Scott Bennett.

“I’m so proud to be your teacher,” said Bennett at the small ceremony on the jail on Tuesday afternoon. “If I get put out of a job because there are no more inmates to teach, I’ll be happy about it.”

Walton County Sheriff’s Office along with Northwest Florida State College is working with Panhandle businesses like Eastern Shipbuilding Group and Gulfstream Shipbuilding to provide inmates employment opportunities when they are released.

“As a class, we just want to say ‘thank you’ to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for this great opportunity and for believing that this program could make a difference in our lives,” said Robert Davis, one of two Escambia County graduates.

Two inmates from the first graduating class from back in March have gone on to advance their skills in additional courses.

“This is the first day of the beginning to a new life,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “Use this opportunity to help better yourself and provide for your families.”