N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--December 1997

Duplicating Plant Manager Fenway Carmichael Retires

Raleigh - After 25 years of work in the Correction Enterprise duplicating plant, manager Fenway Carmichael is retired in November.

"It’s been very rewarding ," said Carmichael. "Its changed so much from when I first started working, but you can say that about the department, too. It’s become more professional."

He was working at a small print shop in Raleigh, when former Correction Enterprise print manager Jim Pierce told him of the job opening. "I told him they wouldn’t hire me and Pierce said they won’t hire you if you don’t apply," Carmichael said. He got the job and went to work at the duplicating plant at Polk Youth Institution.

About 15 years ago, the plant moved to its current location off Mountford Avenue near Central Prison. The plant’s doors and windows were kept shut and armed officers watched the facility where medium security inmates from Polk worked at first.

"At that time we used small offset presses. It was a manual operation," Carmichael said. "We ran one plate at a time for as many copies or forms as people needed. We used ink, fountain solution and blanket wash and that kind of stuff."

It was a difficult working environment and a lot more stressful than it is now. "The department has made working conditions for the employees more conducive to coming to work," Carmichael said. "Its not just a locked down place. People are given more incentives. Now they are seen as professionals."

The duplicating plant has undergone two significant changes. A visit by the Enterprise Director brightened up and opened up the plant. "He saw how it was and he required us to put better lighting in, to paint it, to clean it up and make it look right," he said. And the arrival of high speed copiers in 1987 changed the way they did business. "Not dealing with copying, we didn’t realize what impact that would have on our operation," he said. "It improved our quality tremendously, saved money and by automating the process, sped up the operation."

The plant now is fully equipped with high speed copiers increasing the amount of work that can be handled and requiring a second shift of inmate workers. The plant now employs minimum security inmates from Wake Correctional Center.

"The next great step for this place will be high speed digital printing," Carmichael said. "In the near future, a customer will be able to sit at his desk and send a publication from his computer to the plant for printing."

Carmichael says he’s happy to go home to spend time with Saundra, his wife of 18 years, and their two children, Brandon, 12, and Christina, 8. He plans to spend time volunteering in the school, working with young people and working in his church.

"Working for the department has changed my attitude about life and made me a better person," Carmichael said. "And that’s what the department is suppose to be about--making you a better person."

NC DOC Correction News- December 1997
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