Although those leaving prison face a variety of difficult challenges, finding a job may be one of the most daunting of all. But it doesn’t have to be. There are hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the U.S. that are willing to help. And the CareerOneStop website, operated by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, can help you find one.
It’s possible that many people might not know these nonprofit organizations exist. That may be why a recent study conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics found that a high percentage of people imprisoned were unable to find work in their post-prison years. Researchers tracked 51,000 people released from federal prisons in 2010 – 70 percent of the total number for that year – using technology linking them to their employment records. They found that one-third of the total number of people studied were unable to gain employment at any time during the first four years after their release.
The facts are clear. But the reasons are not. There could be a variety of explanations for why people in reentry don’t find work, but those who seek professional help in their job search may be more likely to succeed.
Find a job search reentry program
And there’s no place better to start than the careeronestop reentry program finder. By typing in your location, you will be able to find programs that can help you with your job search or with finding educational or training opportunities to improve your knowledge and skills. Nonprofits operate many of these programs, but another resource is the nearly 2,300 American Job Centers that are funded by the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and can be found in locations nationwide.
Most major cities have multiple reentry programs. San Francisco, for example, has 51 programs listed in the directory. New York has 51. And Chicago has 48. Even smaller locations like Springfield, Mo.; Missoula, Mont.; and Portsmouth, NH, have listings.
Other useful resources
The CareerOneStop website offers a lot more resources than the reentry program finder, however. Among these are:
A video library. The library includes scores of videos to watch if you want to learn more about careers and industries and the types of skills you might need to find a job. There are also tutorial videos on such subjects as how to write a cover letter and how an American Job Center can help you with your job search.
Interest assessment. Spend a few minutes to answer 30 questions, and you’ll receive a list of careers that match your interests.
Skills matcher. In this type of assessment, you answer questions about your ability level in various skills, and you will receive a list of 10 potential careers that match those skill levels.
Salary finder. This tool allows you to find out the salary for a particular job in a particular location and can help determine the salary range for the work you’re looking for.
Whatever information or tools you might need to help you as you search for employment, spending time on the CareerOneStop website can be a valuable investment of your time.