The Promise of Work
The goal of New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio's "Jails to Jobs" initiative is to ensure that all people leaving city jails have guaranteed short term employment. Access to employment is crucial for successful reentry - while at the same time being exceedingly difficult for the formerly incarcerated to procure. Osborne has been part of this initiative since it began this year.
The Gotham Gazette explored the launch and implementation of this vital effort in its July 6 piece "DeBlasio 'Jails to Jobs Program Launches", and tells the story of one Osborne participant, Judith (pictured in the header.)
The promise of "Jails to Jobs" lies not only in the guarantee of employment, but the provision of an array of services that support the unique needs of individuals returning to their communities.
In April 2017, four months before her release, Judith began participating in our workforce development programming. “I took advantage of...everything I could get my hands on,” she told Gotham Gazette, and ended up leaving Rikers with certificates in food handling, culinary arts, building maintenance, and job safety.
Upon her release, Osborne’s housing staff helped her secure a home, and its employment team reviewed her resume, coached her on interview skills, organized her paperwork, and placed her in an apprenticeship in a kitchen. After the apprenticeship, Osborne helped Judith find permanent employment and supported her emotionally as she progressed professionally.
“They kept encouraging me that it’d be okay, that I need to keep pushing forward. It wouldn’t have happened without them,” she said.
As "Jails to Jobs" grows and develops, we'll share updates about how our participants address the challenges of reentering the workforce and their communities.
You can read a recent profile of Osborne participant Carlos Rodriguez, who is working in the food industry and dreams of owning his own restaurant.