|April 12, 2012|
Recently, Freedom Ticket talked with Andy Sagvold, Reentry Services program manager, about their programs for people leaving corrections facilities.
How does Goodwill Easter Seals help people leaving corrections facilities?
Goodwill Easter Seals currently has several programs that help individuals successfully transition back into the community following incarceration. The programs vary in their focus, but all work to provide solutions that address the multitude of barriers commonly faced, such as child support compliance and arrears, parenting education, skills training, employment readiness, finding a mentor, resource navigation, mental health and medication concerns.
Services and support for some of the programs are initiated while individuals are still incarcerated and continue in the community upon release. Programs also vary in that they target specific populations – from federal prisoners with documented disabilities to homeless individuals pending release after a few months in the county workhouse.
What types of job training programs do you offer and how can someone sign up?
We offer a variety of skills training programs well-suited for individuals with criminal records to ensure a competitive job in the community. The best options are construction, automotive and customer call center training classes.
We also offer a four day Employment Readiness Training (ERT) that helps assess individuals’ skills and make career options. ERT also is very beneficial in helping individuals answer interview questions about their record as well as providing a videotaped mock interview help individuals gain constructive feedback and increase their interview success.
Some individuals may also be eligible to participate in the Employment Development Services (EDS) program. EDS is a paid transitional work experience program offered at various community and Goodwill Easter Seals locations. Individuals build their job skills and résumés while working on their soft skills and work readiness with both a job site supervisor and a case manager.
With generous support from a variety of funding sources – including federal and state grants, private foundation awards and Goodwill Easter Seals retail earnings – the eligibility requirements for the programs vary greatly. In order to determine which program is available and the best fit, please contact the Reentry Services Intake Coordinator, Christen Munn, at 651-379-583.
What suggestions do you have for someone beginning a job training program after being incarcerated?
Be motivated and ready to succeed – not only for yourself and your family but also for all of the individuals leaving corrections behind you.
Allow the staff to build rapport so they are able to understand, support, and discover ways to address your personal barriers to employment success – whether adjustment anxiety, substance abuse, housing difficulties, mental health concerns or relationship and parenting issues. This approach to services ensures that individuals are prepared to succeed in all aspects of their lives and are not just simply placed in a job. This also solidifies business relationships by ensuring that individuals placed are ready to retain the job and succeed.