Stable employment reduces recidivism

Reentrant Workforce Development

Employment Readiness Training

Helping reentrants prepare for the workforce addresses two potential causes of increased recidivism – lack of job skills and lack of education. Stable employment options also help individuals provide support for families and reintegrate into the community with lowered incentive to return to crime.

In addition to the programs for our reentry service centers, reentrants reporting to our centers may be referred to Workforce Development programs, which assist the individual in gaining employment in the community and planning for a career. Individuals receive the support of an education and employment coordinator to create an Employment Plan.

Program elements:

  • Labor Market Information. GEO Reentry Services will connect to local resources to determine and monitor the changing status of the local employment market, including information from the Pennsylvania Labor Market Information (LMI) and PA Career Link®. Concerted community outreach will help develop a number of employers who have available opportunities.
  • Academic Assessment. Since a GED is a prerequisite for many careers, reentrants who have not yet earned a high school diploma or GED will receive an academic assessment and can sign up for the GED test or begin GED preparation.
  • Vocational Assessments. Staff will use the WorkKeys Fit and Talent Assessments to determine employability traits, strengths, interests, aptitudes and areas for improvement. Vocational assessments will also include typing and computer skills evaluations.
  • Managing Barriers to Employment. Employment and education coordinators will assist with identifying barriers to obtaining or retaining employment, such as substance abuse, mental health and disabilities, and then work to address these issues. Staff can also help with barriers such as lack of identification, childcare responsibilities, lack of transportation or a poor housing situation.

Additional tools:

  • Tools to Work. Staff ensure that all reentrants have proper identification, resume, appropriate work attire and transportation prior to applying for jobs.
  • Motivation for Work. The Employment Readiness group uses proven writing techniques and the principles of Motivational Interviewing to help reentrants prepare for work.
  • Soft Skills Development. Assists individuals with skills such as career planning, work habits, on-the-job and general business etiquette, customer service and conflict resolution.
  • Individual job coaching. One-on-one coaching to help reentrants resolve employment-related issues.
  • Job placement assistance. GEO Reentry staff is committed to cultivating job leads, from developing job openings to making referrals for interviews. Coordinators also keep abreast of local job fairs and employment events.