Vocational courses are very popular, particularly with those who have their release dates in view. CPO programming teaches skills necessary to seek employment, and to match the needs of potential employers, upon release from prison. Additional courses, like the FDIC education program, Money Smart, or the entrepreneurship course, allow people in prison to build mastery over their personal and household finances, and to possibly position their own skills for income-bearing opportunities. CPO seeks volunteers with backgrounds in accounting, finance, teaching keyboarding and basic computer skills, small business management, agriculture, human resources, and healthcare. Vocational volunteers should be flexible when considering how their backgrounds align with available courses – owning a business is a match for entrepreneurship, but also indicates a background in budgeting, building credit, project management, and other skills that could lend themselves to different courses.
This program introduces students to six content areas: basic plants, basic gardening, seed starting and plant propagation, organic gardening, food chain, and landscape and design. Students gain hands-on experience in greenhouse operations, by starting plants for use in the vegetable garden and landscaping, landscape design and implementation, and garden planting and maintenance. In locations, such as Northeastern Correctional Center in Concord, landscape design can be enjoyed on the walks and grounds, and vegetables raised are used in its restaurant.