WXXI AM News

Bringing employment training services and opportunities to inmates

Feb 16, 2017

Credit rochesterworks.org

RochesterWorks! is bringing its employment and job training initiatives to the Monroe County Correctional Facility.

Thanks to a $500,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, RochesterWorks! Reentry Connections will open an American Job Center affiliate at the jail.

RochesterWorks!, an employment and training initiative, also runs two career centers on North Goodman Street and Waring Road in Rochester.

Technical Assistance and Training Manager Lee Koslow says an American Job Center will operate out of the jail and serve 100 inmates over the next two years.

"What we're doing there is providing kind of a case management and job search assistance element that's going to help them put it all together when it comes to focusing on, 'OK, what kind of job can I get, how do I get it, and how do I explain to a business that I turned my life around? I don't pose a risk to them, rather I can help them fill a need that they have,' " he said.

Koslow says RochesterWorks! partners with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and Delphi Care Services, which coordinates the Monroe County Re-entry Task Force, and the county's direct services program for men and women returning from incarceration.

He says the program can help job seekers and businesses.

Koslow says a lot of businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers, and they might overlook someone with a criminal record.

But the RochesterWorks! Reentry Connection can pair businesses with people returning from incarceration who are ready for the workforce.