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 Teaching People in Prison 

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Michael Santos

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Title: Teaching People in Prison Recycling Industry (2023)


  • Joey’s inspirational story highlights the power of hard work, determination, and skill development in overcoming adversity and achieving success in both personal and professional realms. Taking over his family’s business, Joey increased its revenue fivefold and diversified its services, exemplifying best practices for business development and entrepreneurship. His narrative teaches us the importance of continuous learning, relationship building, and seizing opportunities.


  • From our interview, students should recognize the value of hard work, determination, and skill development —including math, critical thinking, and communication skills— in achieving personal and professional success. They should also identify opportunities in the trucking, recycling, and concrete industries. Additional lessons relate to perseverance, calculated risk-taking, and effective decision-making for entrepreneurship.

Lesson Requirements:

  • Watch the video that accompanies the lesson
  • Write a definition of each word highlighted in bold and written in italics
  • Use ten of the vocabulary words in a sentence
  • Respond to a minimum of three open-ended questions by following instructions at the end of the lesson.

Lesson Outcome:

  • Participants will increase their vocabulary by at least ten words.
  • Participants will improve writing skills and their ability to contemplate how their responses to open-ended questions relate to their prospects for success upon release.
  • Participants will add to their journal, demonstrating a self-directed, self-improvement pathway to prepare for success upon release.

Our team at Prison Professors is enthusiastic about learning from Joey, an entrepreneur who, starting in his early 20s, drove his family business to prosperity after his father’s untimely death. Describing the business’s operations, we learn vital information about the recycling, trucking, and concrete industries. Each field offers potential career options to our listeners, given their relatively low barrier to entry and accommodation of justice-impacted individuals. 

Our interview highlights the importance of maintaining a solid work ethic, persevering despite adversity, and remaining aware of and taking advantage of opportunities. By adhering to these principles, our team is confident our students can prepare to rebuild their lives upon release.


Joey, a first-generation Filipino American, grew up working in his family’s recycling business. His father, allured by the potential of substantial earnings as an entrepreneur, entered the industry in the 1980s. Although trained as an accountant with no experience in the field, his father seized the opportunity to partner in the business when an associate proposed the idea. Though the company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy then, his father firmly believed its financial situation would improve through determination and diligence. Today, the business is a flourishing, family-operated enterprise in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

Instilled with a tireless work ethic by his immigrant parents, Joey understood the value of diligence and dedication from an early age. He accompanied his father to job sites and undertook labor-intensive tasks like shoveling construction aggregate and other materials. Joey began learning the industry fundamentals at only five years old as an apprentice. As he came of age, he became proficient in more aspects of the recycling industry, and his scope of responsibilities expanded to include operating machinery and transport vehicles.

Though the business offered a promising chance for prosperity, it experienced significant financial setbacks. When Joey’s father took over the company, it only generated an estimated $100,000 in annual revenue, equating to around $8,200 monthly. With five employees at the time, managing the cash flow, paying operating expenses and salaries, and servicing the firm’s debt was challenging. Fortunately, Joey’s father managed to keep the business afloat in the ensuing years through creativity and hard work.

The company also required significant capital equipment, as detailed in the table below. A rock crusher, a machine used to pulverize stones, could cost about $250,000. Joey estimates the value of the company’s inventory totaled more than a million dollars.

Equipment type:Definition:
Bobcats: Bobcats are small, agile machines are used for excavation, landscaping, and other tasks. These vehicles are also called skid-steer loaders.
Bulldozers Referred to as “dozers” by Joey in the interview, bulldozers are powerful tractors with large blades on the front used for pushing large amounts of dirt or rock.  
Dump trucks Dump trucks are vehicles with hydraulic lifts that can unload materials.
Excavators CAT 5230 in coal mining operation.Excavators are large machines with a long arm and scoop used for digging and moving materials.
Loaders undefinedA loader is a type of heavy machinery that moves materials such as dirt, rocks, and debris.
Rock crushers Crusher bucket in a quarryAlso known as jaw crushers, rock crushers are machines that pulverize large rocks into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Water trucks Water trucks transport water to construction sites and other locations for various purposes, such as dust control.
10-wheelers undefined10-wheels are trucks with ten wheels used for transporting materials such as dirt or gravel.

Quick Takeaway:

  • What jobs using the equipment shown in the table above possibly interest you?
  • What skills and resources do you anticipate needing to enter such fields?

Tragically, Joey’s father passed away in 2001, leaving his son as the primary manager of the business when he was only 23 years old. Joey’s father set a strong foundation for his son. By the time of his death, the company had grown from $100,000 to $2 million in revenue and employed eight staff members. Yet Joey still faced considerable challenges. He had only recently earned his business degree and still considered himself a novice in fields essential to running the firm, such as payroll, accounting, and sales.

Alongside Joey’s personal difficulties, the company also faced vulnerabilities related to its long-term viability. Because the firm relied on a month-to-month lease rather than owning its land, it risked eviction. If the lease had expired, Joey’s firm would have been forced to relocate equipment and materials and incur high cleanup costs. This concern hindered efforts for long-term investment and planning for the company’s future. He could only secure a longer-term lease in 2019, nearly two decades after first taking control of the company.

Fortunately, Joey had the support of his colleagues and relatives as he assumed leadership over the family business. He fondly recalls the mentorship he received from a lawyer, a cousin, and a friend with prior experience in the office. Their guidance helped him navigate the challenges of successfully managing and growing the business.

He also benefited from the expertise he gleaned from his father, visiting job sites and meeting with customers as a young child to gain insight into their needs and preferences. This experience helped him to understand the importance of diversifying the product line and expanding the business operations.

Joey’s perseverance while facing adversity should inspire our students. By upholding a robust work ethic and remaining open to learning from others, Joey sustained his family’s legacy, continuing to generate revenue and provide income to others. Since taking over the company, he has continued to practice sound leadership, resulting in consistent growth.


Our team urges students to emulate life lessons from role models like Joey. As I served nearly three decades in prison, I sought to identify success principles that drove leaders like him to thrive and contribute to society. I realized that by following such examples, I could move beyond the barriers of my confinement and achieve a purposeful life upon release. Joey shows us that we can overcome the obstacles facing returning citizens as we seek to rebuild our lives.

Our audience should identify the significance of hard work and determination in overcoming challenges. Joey and his father’s tireless work ethic enabled them to prevail over significant financial hardships and expand their business, all while providing livelihoods for employees and caring for family members. Despite the company’s precarious financial situation, Joey’s father believed that perseverance would improve the company’s outcome, and his prediction proved accurate. Likewise, Joey worked diligently to learn the business dynamics and build relationships with customers and colleagues.

We can also infer that both Joey and his father relied heavily on their skills in math, critical thinking, and communication to flourish in their careers:


Joey’s father, trained as an accountant, almost certainly relied on his financial management skills to increase the company’s revenue from $100,000 to $2 million. We can deduce that he relied on his math knowledge to determine the company’s operating costs and allocation of funds for employees’ salaries. Joey became adept at payroll and accounting, both subjects depending heavily on math skills. His business degree likely provided him with a solid foundation in these areas. Such proficiency is crucial for managing finances, tracking inventory, and analyzing data, all critical tasks in any vocation.

Critical Thinking:

Joey’s father recognized the recycling industry’s potential despite having no experience in the field. Yet he kept the business afloat through creativity and hard work. He became aware of an opportunity and took a calculated risk by partnering with an associate, even though the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. Likewise, Joey had to think critically when he took over the business, finding ways to attract and retain customers and manage the company’s finances. Critical thinking skills are vital for problem-solving and decision-making, a necessity for our listeners as they reintegrate into free society.


Joey had to communicate effectively with his customers to sell them the company’s services and ensure their satisfaction. Effective communication is necessary for building relationships, managing teams, and building client rapport. It is also essential for networking and building partnerships, both critical for individuals’ and businesses’ success. Following this principle, our students must sharpen their communication skills to stand a better chance at finding work, housing, and professional networks upon release.

Our listeners can achieve their goals with the right mindset, dedication, and perseverance. We urge our students to reflect on the key factors that contributed to Joey’s success. By adhering to the principles of hard work, determination, and skill development, all our students increase their odds of thriving as they see to reintegrate into society.

  • How can you incorporate Joey’s principles of hard work and determination to overcome the challenges you may face as you rebuild your life?
  • How does Joey show perseverance in this story, and how does his example resonate with you?
  • How can developing solid critical thinking skills help increase your odds of success in a career and your personal life?
  • How do you believe Joey relied on effective communication skills as a family business leader, and what can you learn from his example? 
  • How do you believe Joey depended on his math skills as in his business, and how can his experience inspire you to strengthen your grasp of math?

Business Operations:

Since assuming leadership of the firm, Joey has been instrumental in driving the venture toward exceptional success. The company now employs 20 people and has increased its revenue to $10 million — a fivefold growth rate since Joey took the helm. Given these positive trends, Joey believes the “sky’s the limit” for the firm’s future expansion.

Based on Joey’s experience, we can glean key insights into best practices for business development. In response to market demands, his company began promoting using recycled materials as a cost-effective alternative to virgin aggregate, products newly mined from the ground. By incorporating recycled materials into its production process, the business reduced its environmental footprint while better serving the needs of its clientele.

The Use of Aggregate in Construction

Virgin aggregate is natural material not previously used in construction, while recycled aggregate is made from crushed waste materials. Using recycled aggregate helps reduce waste and conserve natural resources while lowering environmental impact. Joey explains that virgin aggregate can cost as much as three times as much as its recycled counterpart.

Aggregate is commonly used in construction as a basic building material. It is used in concrete, asphalt, and other construction materials to provide structural strength, stability, and durability. Aggregate is also a base material for roads, drainage systems, and landscaping projects.

This knowledge is relevant for our students interested in construction or related fields and those exploring opportunities in recycling or waste management.

Below: 10-millimeter (left) and 20-millimeter (right) aggregate:

Moreover, the company has strategically invested in capital equipment by purchasing trucks and mobile equipment that can be transported to work sites. This new mobility has enabled the company to serve more clients; its capacity previously faced limits due to its original status as a fixed facility. The company has also expanded its revenue by accepting waste from contractors and charging a fee for the recycling process.

Joey’s focus on customer retention and acquisition has also been a critical driver of the company’s success. The company’s main customers have been general contractors that needed crushed rock for construction projects. Joey’s firm has attracted customers in various ways, such as by providing crushing services for contractors who had their rock to be crushed or by selling crushed rock directly to contractors who needed it for their projects.

Joey has earned a sterling reputation in the community by consistently meeting and exceeding his customers’ expectations. Based on its 30-year record of success, the company has attracted customers through word of mouth, targeting clients within a 20-mile radius of the company’s operations base.

Aside from the original rock-crushing business, Joey and his family have strategically expanded the enterprise by incorporating trucking and concrete services. These additional services complement their core business, enhancing their competitive edge and contributing to the company’s overall success. The trucking service involves transporting materials, such as aggregates and concrete, to various job sites. In contrast, the concrete service focuses on producing concrete using recycled materials from the rock-crushing process. By integrating these services, Joey and his family have effectively diversified their offerings and solidified their position in the industry.


From Joey’s sharing of his business experience, we can identify several critical takeaways for our listeners. Mirroring our module on remaining aware of opportunities, we can learn from Joey’s ability to identify and respond to market demands, adapt to changing conditions, and continuously innovate. He drove his team to succeed by remaining open to new ideas and strategies that responded to customers’ evolving needs. Our listeners should emulate this example by reading about the trends in industries that pique their interest. Our students should seek to develop and continuously upgrade their skill sets to maintain a competitive advantage upon their release. 

Another example of remaining aware of opportunities stems from Joey’s diversification of his company’s offerings by incorporating trucking and concrete services. This strategy demonstrates how entrepreneurs can expand and grow their businesses by branching into complementary areas. Our students interested in entrepreneurship should consider how diversification helps mitigate risk and increase the odds of success in the long run.

We can also identify the importance of relationship building through Joey’s ability to retain and acquire clients. With decades in the industry, Joey’s firm has delivered high-quality services to clients and is a trusted service provider in its community. Likewise, our students must strive to provide exceptional service to their clients and employers to earn a reputation as reliable and productive professionals. By proving ourselves trustworthy and credible as workers, we increase our odds of overcoming the stigma often faced by returning citizens.

  • How can Joey’s example inspire you to explore new skills or interests for personal growth or future career prospects?
  • How can you develop complementary skills to increase your chances of success?
  • How do you believe Joey’s communication and persuasion skills contributed to his family business’ solid reputation in the community?
  • How do you believe Joey’s early experience in the workforce led him to become an effective leader?
  • How can you practice effective communication and relationship-building skills before your release?

Career Opportunities:

Beyond his company’s operations, we learn about opportunities in the industry for our students. Joey explains that a criminal conviction does not preclude an individual from working at his firm. Although his company routinely asks candidates about their backgrounds, it has hired people individuals with felony records. Rather than scrutinize a person’s past, his company considers qualities such as a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn and take on responsibility, and a productive mindset.

Joey also mentions that his family’s company offers opportunities for employees to move up in the ranks and transition into different business areas. Employees typically begin in entry-level positions, allowing them to learn the fine points of the business. They gain experience with the equipment and gradually progress through roles as laborers, operators, managers, supervisors, and sales managers. This hands-on approach to learning and development enables employees to understand the company’s operations better, fostering their growth and career advancement.

Trucking is a particularly promising and potentially lucrative occupation. Truck drivers with a Class A or Class B license can earn around $35 to $40 an hour. Joey highlights that the industry offers job opportunities for individuals with felony backgrounds. He mentions that many truck drivers, including those impacted by the justice system, attain meaningful careers.

The field also offers enticing opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. Joey encourages students to consider becoming owner-operators, which involves owning and operating a truck independently or working as a subcontractor for another trucking company. These options provide more flexibility and control over one’s career while still generating income within the trucking industry. Trucks are typically financed for ten years and cost between $150,000 and $200,000, though used models are more affordable. The owner could generate up to $20,000 monthly in revenue using one of these vehicles. Based on this rate, we can determine that such a vehicle will yield a substantial return on investment.

Our team is dedicated to the success of students committed to earning their freedom upon release. As such, this lesson plan includes supplementary documents listing literature, supporting organizations, and potential careers for listeners interested in the trucking, recycling, and concrete industries.

  • Appendix A: Related Reading
  • Appendix B: Supporting Organizations
  • Appendix C: Potential Careers


The son of immigrants, Joey stands out as an American success story. He drove his family business to thrive through an unwavering commitment to achieving his goals and determination despite adversity. Today, he supports our nation by providing livelihoods and substantial tax revenue to his community. Our students should find inspiration in his story as it shows pathways to rebuilding their lives.

We learned invaluable lessons on skill development, relationship building, and staying aware of opportunities. Math, critical thinking, and communication skills were crucial for Joey and his father to manage finances, analyze data, make sound decisions, and build relationships with customers and colleagues. Following their example, we must hone our abilities in these areas and increase our odds of overcoming the stigma faced by returning citizens upon release.

Joey’s story also sheds light on the opportunities available to our students in the trucking, recycling, and concrete industries. The trucking industry, in particular, offers job opportunities and potential for entrepreneurship, enabling individuals to generate substantial returns on investment through hard work and dedication.

Like all successful people, Joey embodies the success principles consistently taught in our coursework modules, as shown in the table below:

Values: We must define success.Joey’s father defined success as becoming an accountant and achieving financial stability. Joey defined success by taking over his family’s business and growing it into a successful enterprise.
Goals: We must set clear goals that align with our definition of success.Joey set clear goals for himself and his company, including expanding the product line, developing new relationships, and generating higher revenues.
Attitude: We must make a commitment with the right attitude.Joey had a positive attitude towards hard work and was committed to helping his family and community. He was also dedicated to his industry and remained authentic to his goals and aspirations.
Aspiration: We must see ourselves as being something more than the challenges we currently face.Joey aspired beyond just running his family’s business, including solving his land problem, developing his product line, and growing the company even further.
Action: We must take incremental action steps.Joey acted by expanding his product line, developing new relationships, and growing the company through hard work and dedication.
Accountability: We must hold ourselves accountable.Joey held himself accountable for delivering results, ensuring the company remained profitable and stable despite challenging circumstances.
Awareness: We must stay aware of opportunities.Joey remained aware of opportunities and was always ready to take advantage of them, as evidenced by his efforts to market his recycled aggregate product to contractors.
Authenticity: We must be authentic.Joey was 100% committed to his industry and plan, putting priorities in place and developing everyday tools and tactics to help grow the business.
Achievement: We must celebrate small victories.Joey celebrated every achievement, including taking over the family business, expanding the product line, and achieving higher revenues.
Appreciation: We must show appreciation for the blessings that come our way.Joey expressed gratitude for his blessings and opportunities, including the chance to share his inspiring story with others and help them achieve success through hard work and dedication.

Mass incarceration is a social plague that devastates communities and separates families, leading to intergenerational cycles of poverty and disenfranchisement. Our mission at Prison Professors is to combat this social ill by showing students a pathway to success despite their past. We encourage listeners to follow the examples of leaders like Joey to increase their odds of thriving as they reintegrate into society.

Critical Thinking Questions:

Choose any of three questions below. Write a response for each of the three questions you choose. In your response, please write at least three paragraphs, with a minimum of three sentences each.

This exercise in personal development will help you develop better critical-thinking skills, and better writing skills. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. We’re striving to learn how to think differently, and how to communicate more efficiently. Try to use some of the vocabulary words from this lesson in your responses.

  1. How can you apply the work ethic principles demonstrated by Joey and his father to succeed in your endeavors and build a purposeful life?
  • How can you use math skills to manage finances and business operations to improve the success of your entrepreneurial pursuits?
  • How can critical thinking skills contribute to your success, and how can you develop and apply these skills in problem-solving and decision-making situations?
  • How can effective communication skills help you build relationships, manage teams, and establish yourself as a reliable professional in any field?
  • How can you continuously innovate and adapt to changing conditions to remain competitive and successful in your career?
  • How can you build strong relationships with clients and employers to establish yourself as a trustworthy and credible professional?
  • How can you challenge stereotypes and leverage your strengths and abilities to succeed in your career?
  • How can you benefit from being open to new ideas and strategies, as Joey did, and what are some ways to cultivate an open-minded approach?
  • How can one build and maintain a positive reputation in their industry or community, and why is this important for achieving success?
  1. How can one seek out opportunities for growth and development, and what resources are available to support them in this process?


  • Adapt – verb – To adjust or modify in response to changing circumstances or needs.
  • Adversity – noun – Difficulties or challenges faced in life or business.
  • Allocation – noun – The process of assigning resources or responsibilities to specific tasks or individuals.
  • Allure – noun – The power of attraction or fascination.
  • Alternative – noun – An option or choice that is available as an alternative to another.
  • Afloat – adjective – To stay above water or to stay in business despite financial difficulties.
  • Colleague – noun – A person who works with you in the same profession or organization.
  • Calculated Risk – noun – To assess the potential risks and benefits before acting.
  • Clientele – noun – The customers or clients of a business.
  • Complement – verb – To add to or enhance something else.
  • Confinement – noun – Restriction or limitation of movement.
  • Consistent – adjective – Regular, reliable, or steady in behavior or performance.
  • Counterpart – noun – A person or thing that corresponds to or is equivalent to another.
  • Crucial – adjective – Of great importance or significance.
  • Deduce – verb – To arrive at a conclusion by reasoning or deduction.
  • Diligence – noun – Careful and persistent effort.
  • Diversity – noun – The range of different types or varieties.
  • Dynamic – adjective – Characterized by constant change, activity, or progress.
  • Emulate – verb – To imitate or follow as an example.
  • Entrepreneurship – noun – The activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
  • Enterprise – noun – A business or company.
  • Enthusiastic – adjective – Showing great excitement or interest.
  • Ensue – verb – To happen as a result of something.
  • Exceptional – adjective – Unusually good or impressive.
  • Exemplify – verb – To serve as a typical example of something.
  • Expertise – noun – Knowledge and skills in a particular field.
  • Fixed Facility – noun – A permanent location or building used for a business or organization.
  • Flourish – verb – To thrive or prosper.
  • Footprint – noun – The impact or influence of a business or organization.
  • Foster – verb – To encourage the development or growth of something.
  • Glean – verb – To collect information or ideas from various sources.
  • Helm – noun – The position of leadership or control.
  • Hinder – verb – To obstruct or impede progress.
  • Increase – verb – To grow or expand in size or number.
  • Industrious – adjective – Diligent and hardworking.
  • Incur – verb – To become subject to or be burdened with.
  • Innovate – verb – To introduce new ideas, methods, or products.
  • Instill – verb – To introduce gradually or teach someone a particular attitude or idea.
  • Instrumental – adjective – Essential or helpful in achieving a particular goal or objective.
  • Inventory – noun – A list of goods or materials held in stock.
  • Livelihood – noun – A person’s means of earning a living.
  • Lucrative – adjective – Producing a great deal of profit.
  • Mobility – noun – The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.
  • Obstacle – noun – Something that blocks or impedes progress.
  • Offering – noun – A product or service that is available for sale.
  • Pique – verb – To arouse or stimulate interest or curiosity.
  • Prediction – noun – A statement about what will happen in the future.
  • Preclude – verb – To prevent or make impossible.
  • Prevail – verb – To triumph or be victorious.
  • Profound – adjective – Having a deep or significant effect.
  • Proficiency – noun – Competence or skill in a particular area.
  • Profitable – adjective – Generating a profit or financial gain.
  • Pulverize – verb – To reduce to fine particles or powder.
  • Purchase – verb – To acquire something by paying for it.
  • Radius – noun – The extent or range of something.
  • Rapport – noun – A relationship of mutual trust and understanding.
  • Realm – noun – A particular field or domain of activity.
  • Resonate – verb – To have an emotional impact or connection with someone.
  • Retention – noun – The act of retaining or keeping something.
  • Robust – adjective – Strong, healthy, and vigorous.
  • Scrutinize – verb – To examine or inspect closely and critically.
  • Seize – verb – To take hold of suddenly and forcibly.
  • Setback – noun – A reversal or delay in progress.
  • Significance – noun – The importance or meaning of something.
  • Social Plague – noun – A social problem that affects many people in a negative way.
  • Sustain – verb – To support or maintain something.
  • Sterling Reputation – noun – A reputation for being of high quality or excellence.
  • Strategic – adjective – Planned or intended to achieve a particular goal or objective.
  • Teeter – verb – To be unsteady or unstable.
  • Transport – verb – To move or convey something from one place to another.
  • Trend – noun – A general direction in which something is developing or changing.
  • Unwavering – adjective – Firm and steadfast in purpose or belief.
  • Viability – noun – The ability to survive or maintain oneself.
  • Vital – adjective – Essential or important.
  • Vulnerability – noun – The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of harm or damage.
  • Word of Mouth – noun – Referral or recommendation from one person to another based on their personal experience.

Appendix A: Related Reading

The following is a list of books that can be helpful to justice-impacted individuals seeking to pursue careers in various industries. These books cover topics ranging from career opportunities and training requirements to industry history and practices, as well as environmental impact. The books are tailored to suit individuals looking to break into the trucking industry, the recycling industry, or the concrete/aggregate industry, among others. By reading these books, individuals can gain a better understanding of their preferred industry and how to excel in their professional endeavors.

Trucking Industry
“The Trucking Industry: A Guide to Careers, Training and Safety” by Alice Adams – This book is a comprehensive guide to the trucking industry, covering topics such as types of trucking jobs, training requirements, and safety regulations.   “Trucking Business Secrets: How to Start, Run, and Grow Your Trucking Company” by HowExpert Press – This book is a step-by-step guide to starting and growing a successful trucking business, covering topics such as financing, marketing, and operations.   “Truck Driver: A Shortage in America” by Brent Johnson – This book explores the shortage of truck drivers in the United States, providing insight into the industry and potential career opportunities.   “The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream” by Steve Viscelli – This book takes a critical look at the trucking industry and its impact on American workers, providing a nuanced understanding of the industry and its challenges.   “The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road” by Finn Murphy – This memoir follows the author’s experiences as a long-haul truck driver, providing a firsthand account of life on the road and the challenges of the industry.   “How to Become a Truck Driver: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Truck Driver” by HowExpert Press – This book is a practical guide to becoming a truck driver, covering topics such as training, licensing, and job opportunities.   “Trucking 101: The Business of Trucking and the Industry Players” by Mark C. Moses – This book provides a comprehensive overview of the trucking industry, covering topics such as business models, regulations, and industry players.   “Truck Driving Women: The Untold Story” by Hope Rivenburg – This book explores the experiences of women in the trucking industry, shedding light on the unique challenges and opportunities they face.   Resources also are available to those seeking to earn a commercial drivers’ license (CDL):   The Official CDL Handbook: This is a comprehensive guide to commercial driving, including safety regulations, driving techniques, and general knowledge. This handbook is available for free online and can also be purchased in print.   CDL Practice Tests: There are several websites that offer practice tests for Class A and Class B licenses. These tests can help you familiarize yourself with the format of the actual exam and identify areas where you need to focus your studying.   Commercial Driver’s License Training Manual: This is another resource that provides an overview of the topics covered on the exam, including safety regulations, driving techniques, and general knowledge.   Commercial Driver License Exam Secrets Study Guide: This guide includes tips and strategies for passing the exam, as well as practice questions and answers.   CDL Prep: This is an app that provides practice tests, flashcards, and other study materials for Class A and Class B licenses.
Recycling Industry
“Recycling: A Guide to the Waste Management Industry” by Steve Last – This book provides a comprehensive overview of the recycling industry, including its history, current practices, and future prospects.   “Recycling Reconsidered: The Present Failure and Future Promise of Environmental Action in the United States” by Samantha MacBride – This book takes a critical look at the recycling industry in the United States, exploring its successes and failures, and proposing strategies for improving environmental action.   “Recycling and Upcycling for Life: How to Recycle and Upcycle Almost Anything!” by Pippa Greenwood – This book provides practical guidance on how to recycle and upcycle a wide range of materials, from plastic to paper to textiles.   “Waste to Wealth: The Circular Economy Advantage” by Peter Lacy and Jakob Rutqvist – This book explores the concept of the circular economy, in which waste is minimized and resources are used more efficiently, providing a framework for sustainable development and economic growth.   “The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health – and a Vision for Change” by Annie Leonard – This book examines the social and environmental impacts of consumer culture and proposes solutions for creating a more sustainable future.   “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade” by Adam Minter – This book follows the author’s experiences in the global recycling industry, providing insights into the challenges and opportunities of this rapidly evolving field.   “The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance” by William McDonough and Michael Baumgart – This book proposes a vision for a more sustainable and regenerative economy, in which waste is eliminated and resources are continually reused and renewed.
Concrete/Aggregate Industry
“The Concrete Handbook” by Fulvio Caputo – This book provides a comprehensive overview of concrete, including its properties, mix design, testing, and production.   “Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures” by Steven H. Kosmatka, William C. Panarese, and Beatrix Kerkhoff – This book is a standard reference for the concrete industry, providing detailed guidance on mix design, materials selection, and quality control.   “Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World’s Most Common Man-Made Material” by Robert Courland – This book explores the history and cultural significance of concrete, providing a fascinating look at the material that has shaped our built environment.   “Concrete Technology: Theory and Practice” by M.S. Shetty – This book provides a comprehensive overview of concrete technology, covering topics such as mix design, testing, and construction practices.   “Aggregates: Sand, Gravel and Crushed Rock Aggregates for Construction Purposes” by M.R. Smith – This book provides an in-depth look at aggregates, including their properties, uses, and production.   “Concrete Construction Handbook” by Hurd – This book provides practical guidance on all aspects of concrete construction, from design to finishing.   “Handbook of Concrete Engineering” by Mark Fintel – This book is a comprehensive reference for the concrete industry, covering topics such as mix design, construction practices, and quality control.

Appendix B: Supporting Organizations:

Our students may face significant barriers to finding employment as they seek to reintegrate into society. However, there are several organizations and community support groups dedicated to helping justice-impacted individuals find careers in various industries. These organizations below offer a range of services, including job training, placement assistance, and ongoing support to help individuals succeed in their new careers.

Trucking and Transportation Industry:

  • The Second Chance Alliance – This national organization focuses on helping justice-impacted find employment opportunities, including those in the trucking and transportation industry. They work with employers to provide job training and employment opportunities.
  • The National Institute of Justice – This organization provides research and resources to help justice-involved individuals find employment in the transportation and logistics industry. They have several publications and reports available on their website that provide guidance for employers and job seekers.
  • The Center for Employment Opportunities – This organization provides job training and placement services to returning citizens, including those interested in careers in the trucking and transportation industry. It offers a variety of services, including job readiness training, job placement assistance, and ongoing support to help individuals succeed in their new careers.
  • The Road Home Program – This organization provides employment services and job training to justice-involved individuals looking to transition back into the workforce. It offers a variety of services, including job readiness training, job placement assistance, and ongoing support to help individuals succeed in their new careers.

There are several organizations that provide support to returning citizens to help them obtain their Class A or Class B license. Here are a few options:

  • The CDL School: This is a nationwide organization that offers CDL training and job placement services to returning citizens. It has a program specifically designed to help individuals with criminal records obtain their CDL.
  • America Works: This is a non-profit organization that provides job training and placement services to individuals with barriers to employment; it offers CDL training and job placement assistance.
  • The Second Chance Act: This federal program provides grants to state and local organizations to support programs that help those looking to reenter society. Some of these programs offer CDL training and job placement services.

Recycling Industry:

  • The National Employment Law Project – This organization provides resources and support to help people find jobs in a variety of industries, including the recycling industry. It offers guidance to employers on hiring policies and provides resources for job seekers, including job boards and training programs.
  • The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries – This organization provides resources and support to help people find employment in the recycling industry. It offers a variety of resources for job seekers, including job boards and training programs. It also works with employers to help them develop hiring policies inclusive of justice-impacted individuals.

Concrete/Aggregate Industry:

  • The Associated General Contractors of America – This organization provides resources and support to help people find employment in the concrete and aggregate industries. It offers training programs and job boards for job seekers, as well as resources for employers on hiring policies and best practices.
  • The National Asphalt Pavement Association – This organization provides resources and support to help people find employment in the asphalt industry. It offers training programs and job boards for job seekers, as well as resources for employers on hiring policies and best practices.

General Resources:

  • The Safer Foundation – This organization provides job training and employment services to returning citizens. It offers a variety of services, including job readiness training, job placement assistance, and ongoing support to help individuals succeed in their new careers.
  • The National Transitional Jobs Network – This organization provides training and job placement services to justice-involved individuals. It offers a variety of services, including job readiness training, job placement assistance, and ongoing support to help individuals succeed in their new careers.

Appendix C: Potential Careers:

For individuals looking to start a new career or rebuild their lives, the recycling industry, trucking industry, and concrete industry can offer a range of job opportunities with various entry-level positions that require little to no prior experience or specialized training. These industries play an important role in the economy and society, and individuals who are willing to learn and work hard can find fulfilling careers with opportunities for growth and advancement.


  • Sorter: Sorting and separating recyclable materials at a recycling center does not usually require any specialized training, and some employers may be willing to hire individuals without previous experience.
  • Recycling Collection Driver: While some employers may require a clean driving record, some may be willing to consider individuals with a non-serious traffic violation or other minor blemishes on their driving record.
  • General Laborer: Some recycling companies may hire individuals for general labor positions, such as cleaning up recycling facilities, loading and unloading trucks, or other duties as assigned.

Trucking Industry:

  • Local Delivery Driver: Some employers may hire individuals without previous truck driving experience as local delivery drivers, especially for non-commercial driving positions that don’t require a commercial driver’s license.
  • Non-CDL Truck Driver: Some companies may have positions for drivers that don’t require a commercial driver’s license (CDL), such as driving smaller trucks for delivery or pickup services.
  • Warehouse Worker: Some trucking companies may hire individuals for positions in their warehouses, such as loading and unloading trucks, or other manual labor positions.

Concrete Industry:

  • Concrete Laborer: Positions such as mixing and pouring concrete or performing general labor tasks on construction sites may be available to individuals without previous experience in the field.
  • Concrete Finisher Assistant: Some employers may be willing to hire individuals without previous experience as a concrete finisher assistant who work alongside skilled workers to apply and finish concrete surfaces on various construction projects.
  • Warehouse Worker: Like the trucking industry, some concrete companies may have positions for warehouse workers, such as loading and unloading trucks, inventory management, or other general labor tasks.

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