Career Planning Reintegration is a new program designed by Inter-County Community Council’s Employment & Training Department to assist those with criminal backgrounds in reintegrating back into the job market. The goal of the project is to decrease the recidivism rate and help participants feel more prepared upon entering the workforce. The curriculum was created in-house by our employment case managers and criminal justice specialized staff. The program focuses on meeting with the participant while they are located within the correctional facilities. The curriculum has also been adapted and implemented as an independent study program for participants who enroll in our program for assistance and possess a criminal background, but are not currently incarcerated.
Career Planning Reintegration is a 9-unit course that begins by having the individual self-identify what their own strengths are. It then moves to assess which career field best fits, by having the participant take an abilities assessment provided by ICCC’s Employment & Training staff. After the assessment phase, each participant is guided through building a resume/cover letter, determining transferrable skills, reviewing proper interview techniques, identifying resources in the community and understanding financial literacy/responsibilities. Each unit is given to the participants in paper format so it can be kept for future use and reference. At the end of the 9-unit program, each participant is given a certificate of completion signed off by the employment case manager.
Recently ICCC had a participant who completed the program independently. This participant presented the certificate in a court review hearing, along with a letter of reference from the employment case manager, explaining the participant’s success in the program. The court took this accomplishment into consideration and granted the participant’s felony charge be dropped to a misdemeanor charge, and ended his probation. This proved to be a huge accomplishment for the participant and ICCC.