"The Employment Services Network (ESN), help those being released from prison to obtain long term- successful employment. Once they get a job, they rarely go back to jail as compared to those coming out with no work to go to often head back to jail. It is a very successful program and the training conference center (TCC) allowed us to do the training that was accessible, convenient and on public transportation line. Due to these constraints, those released from prison often do not have money or access to transportation; at ESN we provide money for transportation so we make it easy for them to show up, receive training and then we assist in the job placement. We would not be as successful without having the TCC for folks to attend".
Ms. Chrystal O. is an Employment Services Networ (ESN) participant. When
she was referred to the ESN program, she had very little experience and
documented work history, and also struggled with self-confidence and knowing
what to say at interviews. Over the course of several weeks,
Chrystal attended weekly employment group meetings, and applied for dozens upon
dozens of jobs. Chrystal was then signed up for the Employment Seminar in
the TCC, developed and presented by Marcus, and ESN team member.
After attending this full-day employment seminar, Chrystal reported feeling
more knowledgeable and confident in her interviewing skills. A short time
later, she was granted an interview at the request of her ESN Employment
Specialist with a local restaurant manager. Despite applying for a
job that dozens of others also applied for, Chrystal used her newly found
skills and confidence to impress the interviewer, who offered her a full-time
crew member position at the restaurant. After being unemployed and
struggling desperately for months, Chrystal is now earning a living, and
considering going back to school in preparation for her next career move.
Mr. Rasheer F. is an ESN participant. When he was
referred to the ESN program, he had limited work experience, and limited motivation
to work. Rasheer conducted frequent computer searches, but without a
direction or job type in mind, his searches were often non-productive.
Rasheer attended the OSHA 10 training, one of the trainings offered in the TCC,
and was able to better focus his job searching efforts based on what he’d
learned, and knowing that this credential would make him more desirable than
other applicants in jobs that required OSHA training. A couple of
week later, Rasheer was hired full-time with a local warehouse/distributor,
earning more than $11/hour starting, with opportunity for advancement, and
benefits available after a probationary period.
With regards to the TCC trainings, as with all trainings that we
offer/sponsor, the ESN team works to target their Job Development
efforts. When we know that we have a particular training coming up, or
when a particular training has just completed, the Job Developers and
Employment Specialists routinely redirect their search efforts to positions
that will utilize those skill sets, and at business that will value those
credentials on a candidate’s resume. For example, we schedule OSHA
trainings on a monthly basis, so we frequently work to identify jobs at
warehouses and/or distributors like Amazon, Sardillis, HomeGoods, Home Depot,
etc., or manufacturing and assembly plants, like Allied Printing and Dura-Flex
which have all hired our participants in the past. Additionally, we
make it a practice to talk about our participants having this credential on
their resumes whenever we do outreach in the community to any business that
might favor safety and knowledge of federal standards for workplace compliance.
We also offer additional training in the TCC, like Customer service,
which has a hospitality focus, and a monthly Employment Seminar, which is a job
readiness and retention workshop designed to benefit individuals with no work
history, limited work history, and even those with more extensive job
experience. In the days leading up to each Customer Service
training, our ESN staff make a concerted effort to reach out to any existing
contacts in the hospitality industry, retail industry, and other customer
service oriented businesses. We have established relationships with
a couple larger hotels/conference centers in Hartford, as well as several
temporary employment agencies that allow us to connect training participants to
opportunities in these industries pretty regularly.
· The Employment Seminar has also proven very valuable with our populations. This dynamic training event covers a variety of topics that are critically important in successfully job seeking, as well as in maintaining a job once the participant has been hired. Furthermore, the training spends time on career planning, and establishing goals. All concepts that are often lost with a population that has limited or no work experience, but are so important. Since we began offering this seminar just two months ago, several completers have gained jobs as a result of their increased skill level, and many report that they feel far more prepared to seek, apply for, and conduct a successful interview for a job they actually want.