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June 2015 | Grants Newsletter

Out of Prison and Into the Workforce

JOB PREP FOR FORMER INMATES: Left: A Career Pathways participant receives certification for successfully completing a transitional work internship.

Finding good jobs is a challenge for those who’ve done prison time. Many lack education, skills, or work history. These deficiencies are compounded by criminal records that scare off employers. Nationwide, more than half of those released from prison are back behind bars within three years.

The Fortune Society is getting a $100,000 boost from The Trust to assist New Yorkers caught in this cycle. Participants are screened for issues that might affect their employability. Then they develop career plans, and learn how to respond to employers’ questions about their criminal histories.

Next, they’re placed in transitional jobs or enroll in courses designed to develop skills and earn marketable credentials. A culinary arts course, for example, leads to jobs in commercial kitchens. All participants are offered job help for two years. Our support allows the Fortune Society to add more former inmates to this Career Pathways program, and forge deeper relationships with more employers willing to hire them.

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