SANTEE — Rise Up Industries (RUI), a faith-based nonprofit and member of the Global Homeboy Industries Network, is the recipient of a major capital equipment procurement grant from the St. Augustine Foundation.
The grant of $55,000 is earmarked for the purchase of a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) that will further advance the Quality Control Program of RUI’s Machine Shop Social Enterprise. RUI’s Machine Shop is dedicated to assisting previously incarcerated gang-involved individuals to successfully depart gang life and to reenter society as responsible, employed, tax-paying citizens. Members enrolled in the 18-month Reentry Program receive training to become Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine operators. CNC machine operation is a skill that is in high demand both in San Diego and throughout the country.
Augustinian Father Gary Sanders, prior provincial of the Province of St. Augustine in California, and Augustinian Father John Keller, president of the St. Augustine Foundation, visited RUI’s Machine Shop Social Enterprise in Santee to present the grant check to Ross Provenzano, president of Rise Up Industries, and Joe Gilbreath, executive director.
The St. Augustine Foundation “supports the needs of the Order and individuals and communities which serve the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world in activities which promote peace, justice, community development and the care and empowerment of peoples.” RUI began its Reentry Program in March 2016 with the opening of its Machine Shop Social Enterprise, operating a functional machine shop with state-of-the-art precision machining capabilities. Its professional staff has more than 50 years of experience in the machining industry.
“RUI’s Machine Shop provides on-the-job training for its members on contracted machining work,” said Gilbreath. “This offers them real-world work experience and generates revenue to support the program while helping to meet the needs of local companies for machining services.” Rise Up Industries’ mission is to minimize street gang involvement in San Diego by providing integrated gang prevention, gang intervention and reentry services for former gang-involved individuals upon their release from incarceration. The founders of Rise Up Industries were inspired seven years ago by Jesuit Father Greg Boyle’s book, Tattoos on the Heart, which tells the story of the creation and the ongoing success of Homeboy Industries, the most successful gang intervention and reentry program in the country, located in East L.A. In addition to job training, RUI offers its members counseling, case management, tattoo removal, mentoring and other programs to assist them with their reentry journey.
Along with the machine shop social enterprise, RUI also has a private label wholesale coffee business, a high-quality beef jerky offering and fulfills silkscreen and embroidery orders from businesses and other nonprofits throughout the county.
For more information about Rise Up Industries, to make a tax-deductible donation or to purchase any of their products, visit www.RiseUpIndustries.org.