“Studies have shown that the only promise of keeping people from going back to prison is keeping a job.”
President Barack Obama talks about his plan for faith based community programs, including Ready4Work, in Zanesville, OH on July 1, 2008.
Become a Ready4Work Business Partner
Nationally, near 70 percent of offenders released from incarceration will re-enter the prison system within three years. However, Ready4Work, Jacksonville’s most highly recognized re-entry assistance program, has a recidivism rate of less than 15 percent. Recidivism is often related to an ex-offender’s ability to access employment within the community.
Hiring an ex-offender, for many employers, is often seen as a risk and we at Operation New Hope understand an employer’s reluctance and perspective. We have created a program that addresses the problems, concerns and expectations surrounding employing ex-offenders.
Participants in the Ready4Work program are non-violent/non-sexual ex-offenders, are thoroughly vetted and continually screened for illegal drug use. Also, they engage in a 4-6 week Career Development Training course, preparing them for interviews and providing them with a workforce skill set. Additionally, Ready4Work follows each participant for one year, providing them with a case manager, job coach and often a life coach for their continued support.
Since 2003, Ready4Work has partnered with more than 300 businesses in Jacksonville and the surrounding area, and has successfully placed in the workforce more than 1,500 ex-offenders. The success of the program is measured not only by the number of individuals placed with employers, but with their retention with employers and the feedback we receive. The program has a near 90 percent retention rate within the first year of a participant’s employment, far exceeding standard retention rates. Employers often report experiences with participants as positive, citing their high-motivation and excellent training.
Ready4Work has placed participants within the following industries:
- Warehousing & Distribution
- Office & Clerical
- Maintenance & Janitorial
- Landscape & Grounds Cleaning
- Health Services
- Customer Service
Our industry portfolio continues to expand and we are highly committed to satisfying requests of our business partners, as well as providing accountability to and for our participants. Job coaches will conduct site visits for the first year and are available at any time. Business partners are provided with Free Federal Bonding and are eligible for a $2,400 Work Opportunity Tax Credit, per employee.