Nationally, nearly 70 percent of offenders released from incarceration will re-enter the prison system within three years. However, Ready4Work has continued to have recidivism rates dramatically less than local, state, and national rates. Recidivism is often related to an ex-offender’s ability to access employment within the community. Abe Brown Ministries is an official Ready4Work provider, a program that addresses the problems, concerns and expectations surrounding employing ex-offenders.
Clients in the Ready4Work program are non-violent/non-sexual ex-offenders, thoroughly vetted, and continually screened for illegal drug use. Also, they engage in a 4-6 week Career Development Training course, preparing them for interviews and providing them with a workforce skill set. Additionally, Ready4Work follows each client for one year, providing them with a case manager, job coach and often a life coach for their continued support.
Since 2003, Ready4Work has partnered with more than 300 businesses in Jacksonville and the surrounding area, and has successfully placed in the workforce more than 1,500 ex-offenders. Ready4Work-Hillsborough (R4W-H) is a replication of Operation New Hope’s nationally acclaimed Ready4Work program operating in the City of Tampa (Hillsborough County) by Abe Brown Ministries, Inc. since September 2014. Since replication, Ready4Work-Hillsborough has partnered with more than 190 businesses in Tampa and the surrounding areas and has successfully placed more than 300 ex-offenders in the workforce. The success of the program is measured not only by the number of individuals placed with employers, but with their retention with employers and the feedback we receive. The program has a near 70 percent retention rate within the first year of a client’s employment, far exceeding standard retention rates. Employers often report experiences with participants as positive, citing their high-motivation and excellent training.
Ready4Work has placed participants within the following industries:
Ready4Work’s industry portfolio continues to expand and we are highly committed to satisfying requests of our business partners, as well as providing accountability to and for our participants. Job coaches will conduct site visits for the first year and are available at any time. Business partners are provided with Free Federal Bonding and are eligible for up to $9,600 in Work Opportunity Tax Credit, per employee over two years.