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Productive Day Program

The Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation supervises more than 26,000 adult and juvenile clients at any given time. Many of those clients participate in services through the department’s Client and Community Restoration division, as well as at the Adult Corrections Facility. Program participants earn a livable wage while learning transferable skills before being placed into jobs with private sector businesses.

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Community productive day program

The Community Productive Day program's vision is to provide clients with the skills and training to secure meaningful employment. For some clients, this means on-the-job training and classroom experience offered by our training pathways. However, not every client needs training and experience. Clients who are ready to be employed can be placed in the direct employment pathway where we remove barriers associated with job searches, and connect them with community-based staffing agencies and employers. Direct employment pathway can assist as many clients as the job market demands.

Construction pathway

As the largest county in Minnesota, Hennepin County is constantly growing, and the need for skilled construction professionals is always in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics project that the construction industry will be one of the fastest growing industries well into 2020, with an estimated growth rate of 4.5%. In Hennepin County, jobs in the construction industry start at $19 an hour.

The program’s construction pathway helps fulfill the rising demand for skilled construction professionals by providing high-quality, on-the-job-training for clients ages 18–34 who are under the department’s supervision. Upon successful completion of training and union-approved classroom curriculum, participants earn a certificate in general carpentry skills and are eligible for union jobs. Learn more about our construction pathway (YouTube).

Program stats

There are 24 clients annually

Each year, the program trains 24 participants who are under the department's supervision.

They receive six months of education

Every six months, 12 participants receive 1,040 hours of combined classroom and on-the-job experience.

Includes 32 hours on-the-job training weekly

Each week, participants receive eight hours of union approved classroom instruction by a journeyman carpenter, and 32 hours of job-site-training on a variety of construction-related projects.


About half of the department’s adult clients are unemployed or underemployed, and many do not have the financial stability needed to complete on-the-job training without earning an income. Clients in the construction pathway earn $15 an hour while participating in the program, helping to minimize the financial barriers that many people face when trying to complete job training.

In order ensure positive outcomes for participants the following program requirements are in place:

  • Participants must live in or return to Hennepin County.
  • Participants are paid while in the program.
  • Participants complete union-recognized classroom curriculum.
  • A strong union partnership prioritizes program participants for apprenticeship employment.

Projects range from remodeling houses that the county has acquired through tax forfeiture, to performing residential and commercial work for contractors with publicly funded projects. Future projects are in development with the county’s Facility Services department and the program is exploring opportunities to collaborate with Minneapolis Housing Authority.

Construction pathway information sheet (PDF)

Direct employment pathway

Operating on an as-need basis, the direct employment pathway is to provide clients with the skills and opportunities to secure meaningful employment. This pathway assists clients who are ready for employment in finding temporary-to-hire positions that provide a livable wage, while removing barriers associated with job searches, as well as connecting them with community-based staffing agencies.

For some clients, these temporary work assignments will lead to full-time jobs in the position for which they were hired. For others, many of whom have limited job histories, successful employment in temporary positions can help build a desirable resume for employment outside of the staffing agency's placement.

Adult Corrections Facility Community Productive Day program

Productive Day has become a national model that provides numerous benefits to both participants and the community by:

  • Building responsible work habits and developing skills so that participants can find employment upon release
  • Serving the community by providing affordable or free labor for community projects
  • Making effective use of resident labor resources
  • Creating institutional revenue and wages for residents
  • Reducing incarceration costs
  • Reducing operating costs for other county units using resident labor services
  • Helping residents and their families (e.g., child support and other reparations)
  • Possible permanent placement, based on company needs

The Hennepin County Adult Corrections Facility Productive Day program requires residents to be productively engaged daily in work-related activities. Educational opportunities, job and soft skills training, job club, and real-life work experience are provided to help prepare residents for a full-time working lifestyle and self-sufficiency when they are released.

Program components

Private sector work program

This program provides temporary, minimum-security residents as laborers to businesses in Hennepin County. For information, email Bonni Fredrickson at

Institutional work program

This program employs offenders in on-site food, laundry and building support services-janitorial services (Storeroom), industry (Women's Library Books).

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