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Our talented team is dedicated to helping those on the margins of society. We welcome the uniqueness and honor the dignity of every student so that each student feels deeply loved and cared for. We come alongside individuals who have little or no hope in their future and restore hope through high-impact career training and life coaching.


Rob Purvis

Program Director

Imagine a young man in Alaska floundering for direction and needing a break! Years ago, before he found a personal relationship with Jesus, Rob Purvis was that guy. Little did he realize that God wanted him to help guys who were incarcerated in one of California’s most notorious prisons. Rob attended welding school, joined the Ironworker’s Union, and began his career as a welder. After ten years in the welding trade, he switched gears and went to work teaching welding to convicts at Folsom State Prison. He considered it a real privilege to see the men he trained immediately become employed as ironworkers, pipefitters, piledrivers once paroled. Currently, Rob’s passion is to share his faith in Christ through welding education at ReIGNITE Hope Sacramento. He feels God gave him a “second chance,” and desires to pass those blessings along to others. Rob is a certified welding inspector, certified welding educator and former AWS Director for Northern California.

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Melvin Johnson

Certified Welding Inspector

At a young age I learned about tools from my father, a certified auto mechanic. In his shop, I handed to him the tools as he worked on various vehicles. At the age of nine, my father supervised while I completely rebuilt a Chevy 327 engine. At 14, my welding career started when I installed a chevy engine and transmission into a 1966 Ford Falcon as I had to make brackets and mounts to make the power train fit. As a young man, I continued to work in the auto repair industry and make some of the tools needed as to do repairs. I also worked in the construction and heavy equipment industries. My welding career really took off when I started working for Southern Pacific Railroad/Union Pacific Railroad. I learned several welding processes, not just SMAW. I worked in the railroad industry for fifteen years until a 2001, a horrific accident ended my career. Through God’s grace, I would not be out done. During my healing phase, I enrolled at American River College’s welding program and was asked by the instructors to help with teaching in different classes. I earned an associate degree in welding and became an adjunct instructor there. Also, while there, I became an American Welding Society’s CWE/CWI. My passion for welding, work ethic and faith in God led me to believe teaching welding in the prison welding program would give the incarcerated the same opportunity to learn the welding trade to earn a living just as my college students. I feel my decision to teach welding in the prisons has been profound. I have taught welding for the State of California Prison system since 2013.

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Brandon Beattie

Volunteer Welding Instructor

I am an International Welding Technologist (IWT) and AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) who is currently employed with STV Inc. as well as an Adjunct-Welding Instructor at American River College in Sacramento C.A.I specialize in welding inspection, providing oversight, surveillance, and in process and final inspections on Locomotives, and passenger rail coaches. My passion is welding procedure development for both manual and robotic welding using a wide variety of materials and welding processes, and hands on training for welders to optimize weld quality and productivity. I am an ARC alumni and have experience as a welder, welding specialist, and inspector in various codes. I have worked for various organizations including Siemens, Fronius, Kratos Defense and Security, and have traveled all over the world with my trade. As your lab instructor, I will provide useful insight to code welding applications and have a passion to help students succeed! We will get you going in the direction of welding you want! After a difficult upbringing and early adulthood, through Church, God blessed me with the gift and passion for welding. My mission is to share this gift and the good news of the Gospel with everyone. I am living proof that God is in the 180 business and can turn it all around.


Bill Wenzel

Certified Welding Inspector

At the age of twelve, I had no idea how welding would become such a big part of my life. After teaching the welding trade for over twenty-eight years to men and women as a College Professor and in the Corrections system - I have personally watched that same spark happen in others as it ignited me. I gained my welding education in college and further experience working in the industry then transitioned to teaching. I found my passion teaching and with that developed a program for CDCR that tied education to industry and was soon doing referrals for my welding students once paroled to go directlyi nto the Ironworkers union. I'm recently retired from teaching at Folsom State Prison.   My Lord and Savior has been my salvation in my life’s struggles. I am forgiven and more importantly I am blessed. I made the decision to be baptized again in 2008.  I am an AWS Certified Welding Inspector and developed a QC program for the structural underground tunnelling project for the San Francisco Muni system.

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Emmanuel Ezwema

Certified Welding Inspector

I have been privileged to work for over 30 years as a welding instructor at Folsom State Prison and a part time instructor at the American River College. Teaching many different processes from MIG, TIG, Stick and Flux Core, I have witnessed how this marketable skill can change the lives of former convicts. They are often employed immediately upon parole. I am certified welding inspector and have maintained my welding certifications in GMAW, GTAW, FCAW and SMAW. I have a master’s degree in Education, a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a California Teaching credential. In addition to teaching, I honed my welding skill as a former construction worker. By God’s Grace, I am a born-again Child of God interested in sharing the Love of God through the matchless name of Jesus Christ when the right opportunity presents itself.

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