Reentry Employment Services
Regional businesses are facing one of the most challenging hiring markets in decades. With unemployment in the region at historic lows, finding quality employees is difficult. Within the decade, as the massive baby boomer generation begins to retire and fewer skilled workers are available to replace them, companies will face a labor shortage of dramatic proportions, which makes finding innovative sources of employees important. The term “reentry” describes individuals returning to the community from jail or prison. Employment has been proven to substantially reduce the risk of reoffending; however, many former offenders struggle with a lack of adequate education and job skills that employers demand. To help citizens overcome barriers and successfully reenter the community, as well as to provide innovative sources of talent for employers, Employ Milwaukee partners with the State of Wisconsin, local government, public and private employment and training providers, and community- and faith-based organizations to provide employment services to these individuals, inside and outside of jails and prisons. Employment services are provided pre- and post-release, including career planning (access to the Job Center of Wisconsin, resume building, job searching, skill assessments, etc.), skill training, and supportive service referrals.
Reentry Employment Services at the House of Correction (HOC)
A grant from US Department of Labor allows us to provide pre- and post-release services to individuals who will be released within 180 days from the Milwaukee County House of Correction (HOC). This program integrates the Council of State Government’s Integrated Reentry & Employment Strategies (IRES) Model and provides career planning, job readiness and skills trainings, all centered around Labor Market Information, assessments of the individual, and an employment action plan. Referrals to American Job Centers are provided to participants, so that they may access WIOA programming to guide them through their transition immediately upon release.
Windows to Work
We assist participants with their employment, housing, medical and psychological needs through Windows to Work, a Wisconsin Department of Corrections-funded program. Instruction in financial literacy, work place competencies, conflict resolution and problem solving are provided through case managers who plan for successful reintegration with participants. Assessments and supports begin six months prior to prison release, with twelve months of follow up and supportive services after reintegration into the community.