Reducing Barriers for Employment

Adult/End-Dependence Kansas Success Story

Workforce Challenge –

Austin was facing several barriers to employment after his release from prison.   This included having a history of serious problems in the community with amphetamine and cannabis dependence.  In the prior seven years, his only period of sobriety was during his final year of incarceration. Austin had not held unsubsidized employment in the past and had a very limited work history in the community.   Due to his age and lack of a work history, his skill set was also limited and his education consisted of a GED.

Workforce Solution

OWDS began working with Austin inside of prison 4 months prior to release.  Austin had been involved with Corrections for the past 3 years.   Staff developed an individualized employment plan, vocational profile, and provided other career exploration activities.  Staff assisted him with resume preparation, soft-skill enhancement activities, and in preparing for a job interview.   OWDS helped him develop a plan to avoid or cope with people, places, and things that caused problems in the past and techniques to maintain a positive attitude on a regular basis regardless of circumstances.

Austin was enrolled into the EDK and WIOA program while still incarcerated which allowed staff to develop opportunities with employers in the community to be utilized immediately after release.  This allowed Austin to hit the ground running in the community.  Austin was able to utilize the Vermont Progressive Employment Model (VTPE) through the EDK program.  He participated in several company informational meetings and company tours, which gave the opportunity for him to find the right work environment suitable for his personality.   This was an important factor which led to his success in the community after release.

Outcomes & Benefits

EDK staff set up an on-the-job training at a county landfill job as a machine operator.   He finished the training and has maintained the job for the past year.  He is currently making over 13.00 per hour.  His job provides a full-benefits package, upward mobility and a stable year-round job.  Vocational Rehabilitation helped him with transportation and steel toed work boots needed for the job.  He successfully completed parole and community corrections in the middle of 2018.

Austin was thankful to have such a comprehensive plan set up before his release from prison.  It reduced the amount of stress that usually accompanies being released from prison.  He engaged in the pre-employment activities within the first week of release and began his new job shortly thereafter.

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