The welding program at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution is a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Corrections, the DRCI Physical Plant, and Central Oregon Community College. COCC’s director of welding at Deer Ridge is Mr. Tucker Bauman.
Mr. Bauman earned his Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Manufacturing Technology from COCC; and he has designed the DRCI welding program so that it is closely aligned with the manufacturing technology program at COCC’s Redmond campus.
The DRCI welding shop at DRCI is approximately 2,500 square feet and features state of the art equipment. The shop took nearly one year to design and complete. Our inaugural welding program enrolled its first class of ten students in August, 2009. These students were carefully selected and had to meet stringent standards of conduct, as well as educational requirements. We looked for students who would foster a spirit of collaboration and teamwork.
Students are in class five days a week and learn shield metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and flux core arc welding. Each student had to complete a rigorous safety course before beginning the hands on portion of the class. The curriculum involves video, textbooks, many quizzes and tests, as well as in class welding projects. The students have built most of the equipment cages and storage facilities for the program. The welding program is self paced and very outcome focused. It is designed to prepare graduates for employment in an industry in which they should be able to expect continuous employment and job security. There is a demand for well trained and versatile welders. Students who complete the program at DRCI will then test for American Welding Society welding certification, which is recognized nationwide a step which will increase their employability even more.
Tucker Bauman, welding program director, is building a welding shop and developing a work-based welding program that will meet industry standards and provide training for employment. Bauman worked at Brightwood Industries for many years and is completing his Associate's degree at the Manufacturing and Training Center at the Redmond COCC campus.
Cody Yeager, director of corrections education, is responsible for inmate assessment, evaluation, advising and counseling. She has worked for COCC as an adjunct instructor, as director of the Native American Program, and as education coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. She has also provided a variety of training opportunities for the U.S. military.
Rules of Engagement
"Integrity first. Service before self. Excellence in all we do."
The Deer Ridge E Team is comprised of the finest staff available. We are intensely proud of our work. Dedication to student experiential learning is paramount. Everything we do, whether it is GED or welding training, is designed with one goal in mind: to prepare our incarcerated students for success upon release. My role as director of education means that I am not the team leader, but their cheerleader. At every orientation, I tell students COCC has brought them not just the best instructors available, but the best instructors there are. Our staff works tirelessly, above and beyond the confines of our contracted obligation, so that students have every opportunity to progress. Our mission is to make use of every available means to this end. Our GED success rate is unparalleled and our response time to all inmate notes is 48 hours. As a result of dedication to our mission, the DRCI E-Team has never had a grievance filed by an inmate. Our students care how much we know because they know how much we care. - Cody Yeager