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Local

Reasnor woman appointed to Iowa Prison Industry Advisory board

Megan Ellsworth
Megan Ellsworth

A Reasnor woman has been appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds to the Iowa Prison Industries Advisory Board, an organization dedicated to giving inmates the skills they need to find and succeed in employment after they’ve served their sentence.

Megan Ellsworth, an instructor at Des Moines Area Community College, has experience working with inmates and looks forward to bringing new ideas toward helping them gain the skills they need.

“I am extremely grateful to be appointed to the Iowa Prison Industries Advisory Board,” Ellsworth said. “I am excited for the opportunity to serve and hope to make a difference in the lives of others as well as our communities.”

Iowa Prison Industries is dedicated to providing inmates with both occupational skills such as driving forklifts and using “soft skills” during a job interview.

“With my experience as a Coordinator in the Industry and Technology department at DMACC, I feel I can provide great insight to specific career and educational pathways for these individuals,” Ellsworth said.

Dan Clark, director of IPI, also said the organization is glad to have her on the board, considering her experience and how it relates to the needs of inmates on many levels.

“We’re very pleased to have her on,” Clark said.

At IPI, there are five positions that represent a different segment of the state of Iowa that require certain representatives. Examples include an agricultural representative, an organized labor representative and Ellsworth’s specialty, vocational and technical education representative.

Clark said the governor appoints somebody who works in each field for the purpose of teaching men and women who are incarcerated a skill or trade. So when they are released, they can get a job and get on the right track.

“She knows about that because at DMACC, she’s the industry technology coordinator. She has worked with all kinds of vocational and technical training programs, and has worked a lot with students, especially low-income students,” Clark said. “She knows about some of the challenges men and women in prison face. So we’re very happy to have her.”

Contact Orrin Shawl at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or oshawl@newtondailynews.com

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