|The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections this month at an online event hosted by Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) unveiled to business and industry leaders its brand new Louisiana Reentry Workforce Job Portal. The portal is a tool aimed at connecting potential employers and highly trained inmates reentering society.
“As we prepare inmates for reentry to society through training opportunities that result in marketable skills, it is imperative that we complete the circle by having potential employment opportunities awaiting when they release from prison,” said Secretary Jimmy Le Blanc, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. “Transitioning back to the community is a challenge. This portal gives our population a fighting chance of success in the workforce by connecting releasing inmates with employers, and vice versa.”
The Louisiana Reentry Workforce Job Portal is the first of its kind and is a secure and confidential platform created for the Louisiana Department of Corrections by Louisiana software company ATLO. The interactive employment portal allows inmates to post their resumes and qualifications, and search for and apply for potential jobs. Employers can post jobs and review inmates’ resumes, expected release dates and home parishes to find suitable candidates for employment opportunities. Potential employers are vetted by the Department of Corrections for suitability.
LABI has long understood that those who have paid their debt to society and are returning to the community from incarceration must find gainful employment in order to prevent recidivism.
“LABI is proud to work with the Department of Corrections and private sector partners like ATLO to focus on real solutions that can reduce recidivism by helping the incarcerated find a job and stability after their release,” said LABI President and CEO Stephen Waguespack. “Louisiana’s business community is ready to do our part to connect employers with those skilled individuals who are seeking employment as they reenter society.”
“This grass roots approach now guarantees that all of the employers, and all of the jobs that are inside this portal are jobs that inmates can get, and employers who need these workers can connect,” said Clay Mixon, ATLO owner.
The Reentry Workforce Portal is the natural outgrowth of the DOC’s partnership with ATLO in training and preparing the incarcerated to return to our communities as productive citizens by addressing the major barrier of finding gainful employment. DOC already has in place another secure training and testing platform created for the Department by ATLO. Through this platform, inmates can receive industry-based certifications (IBCs), college degrees, and their HiSET diploma, which will qualify them for high-skilled, good-paying jobs once they release. Some of the certifications include Automotive Service Excellence, General Motors warranty work and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
Since the integration of job skills training and testing two years ago, more than 1,300 IBCs have been earned behind bars in occupations such as auto body/collision repair, automotive technology, culinary arts, HVAC repair, masonry, plumbing and welding as well as other occupational skills.
The launch of the Louisiana Reentry Workforce Job Portal enables inmates to find gainful employment prior to release, and also provides for Louisiana’s businesses and industry a pool of potential employees who have the training, skills and credentials.