February 8, 2024   

Prison Electrician’s Creative Lighting Earns Him Federal Award

2024 02 prison award for lighting.jpg

Credit: Federal Bureau of Prisons

Attorney General Merrick Garland bestows prize, recognizing worker’s unique lighting solutions


In a sequence of happenings that might cause lighting design purists to bristle, Charles D. Treadway II, an Electrical Worker Foreman at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) SeaTac, has been honored with the prestigious Cubby Dorsey Award for Outstanding Service by a Federal Wage Grade System Employee for creative lighting solutions that he designed and implemented.

This accolade, spotlighted by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, recognizes Treadway's contributions to the facility, particularly through his creative approach to lighting—encompassing both sportslighting and LED projection applications.


Scrapped a $60,000 project, implemented a $5,000 solution

treadwell_wins_award.jpgIn the Bureau of Prisons nomination form, it notes that Mr. Treadway saved taxpayers more than $55,000 with his innovative approach to a lighting project at the Federal Detention Center. FDC SeaTac, a high-rise building, needed outdoor lighting to reduce areas of dark shadow that posed a security risk. BOP had estimated it would need to spend $60,000 for a major project to improve the lighting.

Mr. Treadway improvised with new LED lighting fixtures designed for stadiums and was able to complete the project for just $5,000 – a significant savings. Mr. Treadway is also working to improve the lighting in recreation areas with light sources that can be protected from recreation equipment. This too will improve security at the facility.


Lighting projector as a recruitment tool

Additionally, in an effort to enhance recruitment, he devised a strategy to advertise a “Now Hiring” sign, which is projected on the building by an LED projector. This sign is visible during the nighttime hours to the Seattle, Washington light rail and local traffic in the area. It has brought positive attention to the building, the facility, and the agency.



In his awards recognition, it was highlighted that Treadway's commitment to the Federal Detention Center SeaTac goes beyond his lighting innovations. His readiness to respond to after-hours power outages, his voluntary assistance with various facility projects, and his proactive approach to contractor relations exemplify a profound dedication to the institution's well-being.

The conferment of the Cubby Dorsey Award to Charles D. Treadway II by Attorney General Merrick Garland reflects a broader appreciation for the critical role that wage grade employees play in the federal system.