Local News

N.C. License Plates Will Soon Have A Woman's Touch

Posted November 15, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— If you drive a car, you have a little piece of North Carolina history on the back -- a license plate made atCentral Prison. Next year, it could become a collector's item.

Since 1927, all of the license plates in the state have been made at Central Prison. But in Spring 2001, the tag plant will get new machines and new makers when it moves to theNorth Carolina Correctional Institution For Womenacross town.

"Out of other jobs you could do around here, I'd hate to lose this job," says inmate Ronald Card. "I'd rather have this than any other job that's available here."

Central Prison needs the space and the women's prison has room to grow. When the tag plant is completed at the women's prison, the women will make history, becoming the first female inmates in the country to do the job.

"Anybody can do this job. It's just a matter of a few minutes of training and safety," says assistant manager Johnny McLean.

The male inmates will have to be retrained and redirected into other jobs.

The current plant is staffed by 43 inmates. They churn out about 2.6 million plates a year. The new plant will be able to meet, if not exceed, that production level.