Reentry and Integration Division launches Website for Work
One of the core functions of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is helping reintegrate offenders back into society once released. Finding employment is a critical component to their success. A new program called Website for Work helps connect with individuals on parole supervision with employers looking for skilled applicants.
While incarcerated, offenders gain work experience that is often transferable to jobs outside of prison. Website for Work enables visitors to learn about and request to participate in a program that matches employers with applicants based upon their education, vocational training, certifications and work experience.
“The intent of the website is to provide a mechanism for employers who recognize the value in those job skills and training,” said April Zamora, Director of TDCJ’s Reentry and Integration Division. “Such employers show that they’re willing to help members of their community by offering them a ‘second chance’ through employment,” said Ms. Zamora.
TDCJ will use Website for Work to match parolees with employers, arrange for the parolee to contact the employer, record data on the outcomes of individual members in the program and produce statistical reports on the overall success of the program in helping offenders obtain employment.
Employers will complete an online form indicating the area of the state where they have an opening, the number of openings, the skillset and experience that’s needed and any additional information needed to closely match the service needs of the business.
A Website for Work Specialist will then contact the employer to confirm their participation and regularly scan the website database for parolees who match their needs.
When a match is found, the Website for Work Specialist will contact the employer to schedule an interview for the identified parolee(s).
“There are approximately 85,000 parolees currently under supervision,” said Ms. Zamora. “Employment is a significant component in helping them get back on their feet and reducing their chances of returning to prison,” added Ms. Zamora.
The Website for Work program serves the entire state of Texas and employers who hire an ex-offender within a year of their release from prison qualify for the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).
Click here: https://reentry.tdcj.texas.gov/