January 31, 2024

Meet one of AFSCME's youngest members

He may be young, but Clayten White has already found a fulfilling career where he can grow and advance.

White is an 18-year-old cadet-in-training at Lawrence Correctional Center. He’s had other jobs in his young working life—he was previously a carpenter building houses and barns—but he’s found a job in the Illinois Department of Corrections in which he sees a future.

He always knew he wanted to go into law enforcement. So last year when his brother got a job at Lawrence and told him all about the impressive pay and benefits, White put an application in himself.

He attended his first ever union meeting shortly before Christmas, where he got a look inside the union work that is so important, especially in corrections. White said he plans to attend all the future union meetings he can.

“I thought it was unique seeing how they can better the prison environment,” White said. “And it’s nice knowing that you’ve got someone behind you if something happens.”

One of the first issues of On the Move he received featured his local president, Jeremy Givens, discussing the promotional opportunities through the Upward Mobility Program. He was pleased to learn that there are options to advance available to him through his union contract, and White said he plans to take advantage of them after he settles in.

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