Apple-HCC-Harris County partnership aims to reduce recidivism

Sep 2, 2021


A partnership launched Tuesday between Houston Community College (HCC) and Apple Inc. will offer educational opportunities for people on probation to train for in-demand careers and reduce recidivism.

Apple will pay for equipment and software for HCC to use to deliver education, including high school equivalency preparation, basic math and science, and technical training in information technology and digital communication.

Harris County is providing space for HCC computer labs in two of its facilities. The locations include the Community Supervision and Corrections Department at the Atascocita Residential Facility and the Juvenile Probation Department’s Burnett Bayland Rehabilitation Center.

The initiative expands Apple’s partnership with HCC. The two began teaching iOS coding for app development in 2017.

“A company known for innovation is demonstrating that, with partners like HCC, it can create pathways for those who need a second chance to become valued, contributing members of our society,” said Chancellor Cesar Maldonado. “This new initiative speaks to Apple’s and HCC’s shared commitment to strengthen our community.”

The partnership is part of a $30 million Apple commitment supporting its national Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to help students, innovators and trail-blazing organizations create a more inclusive and just society. HCC will receive more than $350,000.

“The call to build a more just and equitable world is an urgent one, and at Apple, we feel a collective responsibility to help drive progress forward,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “The commitments we’re sharing will help the young leaders of today and tomorrow start new businesses, develop groundbreaking innovations and inspire countless others to join the fight for justice.”

Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, vice chancellor of HCC Workforce Instruction and president of HCC Southwest, said the partnership will open “a new dimension of collaboration to address equity, inclusiveness and justice for all.”

“With the two Harris County departments joining us, we can leverage our collective strengths. It’s a model for others to follow,” she said.

Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department Director Teresa May lauded the initiative, saying “it will open doors and change the lives of our clients forever.”

“Finding partners for solutions to juvenile issues has been a top priority for the County’s Juvenile Probation Department," said Henry Gonzalez, its executive director. “We have been pursuing community-based interventions to move youths out of the justice system and into schools, training and jobs,” he said. “This will greatly advance that effort.”

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