Transitional Jobs Program: Getting People Back to Work

Help Wanted! For most individuals looking for work, those words offer promise. But those same words can be daunting to someone with a criminal conviction who is trying to reenter the job market.
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For most individuals looking for work, those words offer promise. But those same words can be daunting to someone with a criminal conviction who is trying to reenter the job market.

At the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), we are dedicated to helping former offenders transition back into the workplace. It's not easy to overcome the stigma of conviction. But we believe that anyone who wants to work should have the preparation and the support needed to find a job and stay connected to the workforce.


CEO addresses the severe joblessness these individuals face by creating immediate, paid transitional work for all our participants. This service is critical for people who have little to no work experience and who need to support themselves and their families. These crews provide structure and income, as well as skill-building opportunities and a platform for entering the full-time labor market with the support of CEO's team of job development professionals.

The CEO model has been independently proven to increase public safety: a three year random assignment evaluation conducted by MDRC showed that CEO made statistically significant impacts on all measures of reducing recidivism. In addition to increasing public safety, the CEO model also demonstrated a return on investment to the taxpayers. In other words, the program saves money. CEO's evaluation found that every $1 spent on CEO's program resulted in almost $4 of savings through reductions in recidivism and increased employment. A critical part of that model is transitional paid employment.

The National Transitional Jobs Network (NTJN), a national coalition dedicated to getting the chronically unemployed back to work, is the principal policy advocate working to get federal funding to support successful programs like CEO. NTJN also shares innovations and best practices with transitional jobs programs across the country to improve program outcomes and provides programs with technical assistance advising. They often use CEO's evidence-based success to educate and influence policymakers to support Transitional Jobs.

CEO supports the Transitional Jobs field through social innovation and continuously striving to improve outcomes. NTJN supports the field by sharing innovations with other programs across the country.

Both CEO and NTJN are committed to making sure that people facing barriers to employment, such as having a criminal conviction, can get and keep employment by identifying what works, participating in research, disseminating best practices and fighting for funding.

CEO helps create success stories. The definition of success to our participants may include getting their first job, first paycheck, first promotion, developing self-esteem, and helping to support their families. We have thousands of these stories and we are committed to keeping them coming by helping individuals make the difficult transition from incarceration to self-sufficiency.

CEO offers a path to change -- change that works -- for everyone.

CEO and NTJN are thrilled to be part of the Huffington Post Job Raising Challenge. Putting Americans back to work is what we are all about. Help CEO and NTJN to continue to create success stories by donating to our causes.

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