Employment Program Graduates Find Jobs Despite Recession

March 10, 2010 - 5:41pm

by Jesse Capece

The Employment Program at OpenDoors began in the first week of May in 2009.  In its new format the Employment Program offers a number of seminars and workshops designed to give formerly incarcerated men and women the tools, tips, skills, and knowledge that they need in order to be able secure employment.  The seminars and workshops are held over the course of four separate days.
      Some of the things participants in the employment program can expect to get and learn are: A resume, customized to your work history, skills and education, and a “30 second commercial,” which is a prepared statement, written with the help of the employment specialist, that is designed to get employers to understand you are no longer the person that they see on the BCI.  Many stories of both success and failure of previous clients are shared during the employment program as well.  These help participants see what successful individuals did to get ahead and what other individuals did that led them back to prison. In the data collected we have seen the following:

  • Of the 287 individuals that began the 4 day program 183 finished.  That is a completion rate of 64%.
  • Of those 183 individuals who completed the program a confirmed 32 have already found jobs.  PLEASE NOTE, the number of graduates from the program that have found jobs is most likely much higher than 32.  However, because it is extremely hard to get in contact with people after they leave our program we can not confirm every single graduate that gets a job.
  • The average number of hours worked each week for these individuals is 34.
  • The average rate of pay for these individuals is $9.63/hour.

      Data is still being collected and the numbers are getting even better.  Although we are not through the woods yet OpenDoors hopes that these positive numbers are an indication that the economic tide is turning. 
      If you would like to participate in the Employment Program at OpenDoors, simply show up on the day that it starts.  Employment Programs begin the first  Tuesday of every month at 10:00.  Be there early-- as it is first come, first serve.


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