“So we represent the workers in these correctional institutions and they have strong connections with the people that they represent sometimes. And recidivism is something that they care about…. We can help get these returning citizens. They have to opt into a program. But when they do that, we can get them the skills while they’re still incarcerated.”Randy Erwin, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees
Partnership with NFFE/IAM: In the case of Rivers participants, GEO’s COC team collaborates with NFFE/ IAM to help them find jobs, which is crucial to ensuring that participants do not return to prison. At this stage, NFFE/IAM play several key roles:
First, NFFE/ IAM case managers help participants assemble the proper paperwork – driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, etc. – so that they qualify for benefits.
Second, NFFE/ IAM case managers help ensure that participants enroll in Washington DC’s Project Empowerment, which provides “District residents with opportunities to grow in education, training, and subsidized employment placements… by partnering with government, non-profit, and private businesses across the DMV area to recruit, train, match, and coach candidates for successful employment.” Participants receive a modest stipend while completing the 6-week training course and then qualify for jobs within the DC government.
Third, when a participant is interested and qualified, NFFE/IAM provides training – including at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in suburban DC – in order to place participants in high-paying, skilled jobs.