For the EVOLution of Business

From Prison to Contribution with The Center For Employment Opportunities

Episode Summary

What happens after you've made a mistake, get sentenced to prison, then get released? For many, even though they've "done their time," they get "re-sentenced to joblessness," and joblessness is the #1 predictor that they'll go back to a life of crime...and eventually back to jail. If you can't find an opportunity to make money legally, how will you put food on the table? While there is fear on behalf of the public to work alongside these individuals, you might be surprised to hear that they are just as fearful. After adapting to life "on the inside," many have forgotten, or never knew how, to make a living "on the outside." The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) works to ease that fear by providing transitional employment and support services that build job skills and ultimately reduce recidivism by being a pathway to permanent employment and societal contribution. Not only is CEO changing lives, but it's a good investment too! For every taxpayer dollar spent, there is a $3.30 return! Sarah Fletcher is the Rochester Site Director for CEO. She has an MS Ed in International Education Development from University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology from the University of Rochester. Hear from Sarah on our Conscious Capitalism ROC panel on "Employing the Formerly Incarcerated" on 10/16! RSVP here:

Episode Notes

[1:00] Sarah's path from career counselor in Brooklyn to the Center for Employment Opportunities in Rochester

[3:00] The founding of the Center for Employment Opportunities and opening of the Rochester office

[5:45] The process for a person leaving prison and re-entering the workforce with the help of CEO

[8:45] Work crews of 5/6 plus a supervisor looking for work in painting, snow removal, landscaping, gardening, highway cleanup - contact Sarah if you'd like to learn more about hiring a work crew!

[11:00] Setting goals and measuring success as an organization and helping individuals define their own success

[13:30] Helping participants work through the fear of re-entry

[17:00] Helping business owners work through the fear of employing formerly incarcerated individuals, including tax incentives, screenings, training

[20:30] Typical jobs for permanent employment in warehouses, manufacturing, construction, call centers, restaurants, home health aides

[22:30] Policies to remove barriers to employment: ban the box, ensuring background check accuracy, allowing expungement

[27:00] Studies of efficacy - 22% reduction in recidivism, $3.30 benefit for every taxpayer dollar spent

[30:00] Barriers to growing and scaling the program

[32:45] Rochester's unique strengths and challenges

[35:30] Success stories at CEO

Learn more about CEO here:
Contact Sarah at 585-362-4080
Accepting donations for interview clothing and warm winter clothing
Volunteer opportunities for teaching computer classes, resume writing

Hear from Sarah on our Conscious Capitalism ROC panel on "Employing the Formerly Incarcerated" on 10/16!

RSVP here: