desk

My Prison Job part 1

Today I thought I would write about my job here at the prison.  I work at Federal Prison Industries, but it goes by UNICOR.  It was established in 1934 to give federal inmates job skills so when they get out, the inmates have a reduced risk of getting incarcerated again.  They have factories all throughout the nation at federal prisons.  UNICOR has 8 different business sectors, but their biggest sector is more in office furniture.  The central business office for all of the factories is right here in Lexington.  They also have a cable factory here.  I work in the central business office.  Currently only federal agencies can order products from UNICOR.

The part of the central business office I am in is called Procurement.  We are in the same big room as the call center where about 30 other inmates answer incoming calls from federal agencies wanting to order or have a question about an order.  My small group of Procurement has 8 people in it.  There are about 10 Correction Officers that are in charge of the inmates there in the office.  Majority of these officers have NO business background, but at least they treat us inmates as valued humans more so than the officers not working in the business office.  The officer directly in charge of my group is the boss over all of the business office.  He is very humble by clearly admitting he has no business background, but has worked his way up the ladder at UNICOR because of his strong work ethic as a cattle farmer.  Luckily he likes me because I also live on a cattle Georgia and her family run.  (I help out on our farm by feeding and watering when I can.) 

My boss at my job is a strong supporter of the work program UNICOR offers to inmates.  He has countless stories of former inmates that worked for him who have been released and are prospering because of the work program.  He will offer his past workers to use him as a reference.  Needless to say, he is a walking banner for the program.  Since he is the big boss of the business office, he desires to have the best talent of the prison in his Procurement group and will offer other parts of UNICOR to use our abilities to help them out.  This way it allows us to work more as a team to help it grow more.  One aspect our group does is do all the weekly, monthly, yearly, and any other reports to help improve the entire company.  We have 2 awesome coders who help setup the sytems to run the reports.  We have 4 to 5 that implement the systems.  I am trained to do the reports, but my specialty is utilizing the information on the reports to come up with a strategic plan on how to improve things financially.  For example, we run weekly reports on raw materials not received yet in the factories.  I helped come with a plan on what companies we should prioritize in “lighting a fire under their tails” to get UNICOR the materials to reduce bottlenecks in the factories so the customers can get their products faster.  Since I have a been blessed by the Almighty on analyzing numbers, my job really is not very consuming so I’ll help out others if need be or just sit and read until I am needed.  We have to be at work at 7:30 till 2:30 every weekday.  They have us go to lunch at 10:30 which is kind of early if you ask me. 

Stay tuned for my next blog about my job and I will tell you how I have been instrument in helping UNICOR with Amazon and also implementing ways to help UNICOR sell more products to non-federal agencies because of what the First Step Act says.

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