Getting “Back to Business”

Older job seekers who were formerly incarcerated not only face the same challenges as other older workers but, also, the additional barriers related to their involvement with the justice system. Stable employment is one of the biggest factors in reducing recidivism, but older, formerly incarcerated job seekers are often hindered by social stigma, unstable housing, unreliable transportation, and the requirements of probation, parole or treatment.

The Center for Workforce Inclusion, though its sister organization and innovation hub, CWI Labs, has developed workforce programs that address the unique needs of this population and support a successful, lasting re-entry into our community. The key is our combination of career training, job preparation, placement, and post-placement support. 

Americans with a criminal record
impact to U.S. economy in lost output
potential job candidates re-entering the workforce every week
formerly incarcerated clients

You may have dropped the ball at one time, but to be given the opportunity to be in the workforce and give back to the community is worth more than money itself.

Charles Brown, Client

Workforce Development for Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers

Reduce Recidivism

More than half of formerly incarcerated individuals are rearrested within 3 years. Post-release employment programs done right significantly decrease the rate of rearrest. In fact, participants in employment programs were found to be half as likely to return to prison at both 6 months and 1 year compared to average.

Career Training

Our training helps job seekers earn in-demand, industry-recognized credentials around skills needed to procure and maintain a job.

Our workshops address overcoming barriers, navigating hidden and open job markets, interviewing, goal-setting, facing fears, and overcoming self-sabotage. Our participants also receive additional help around coping skills to help manage their transition.

Job Placement

We arrange for direct placement in jobs for our formerly incarcerated job seekers.

In addition, we maintain collaborative relationships with employers, facilitating successful outcomes for both the worker and the employer.

Job Retention

In addition to career training and job placement, we leverage services that help older workers who were formerly incarcerated stay employed continuously. The resulting financial stability leads to housing stability, both keys to long-term success.

We focus on extensive follow up after initial job placement to address new client and employer needs and further ensure a lasting career.

If we lived in a world that only provided one chance, we’d all be in a lot of trouble. That’s the greatest part about a partnership with the Center for Workforce Inclusion, CWI Labs, and The NextFifty Initiative is that we get to provide hope and perseverance to the folks that are coming through. We provide second chances.

Robert Andrews, President and CEO of CommunityWorks, a Center for Workforce Inclusion community partner