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Center for Employment Opportunities Provides Career, Vocational Training to Those Who Have Formerly Been Incarcerated

Photo: Rochester Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)

New York State Senator Samra Brouk and Assemblymember Sarah Clark announced a joint investment toward Rochester’s Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) office. The legislators awarded $100,000—$50,000 from both the Senate and Assembly—to help support and grow CEO’s efforts to reduce recidivism in the Greater Rochester area. 

“Those who are  formerly incarcerated or justice-involved are often overlooked when it comes to connecting members of our community with support and resources,” said Brouk. “By offering immediate work opportunities, job training, and leadership development, Center for Employment Opportunities is sharing in our efforts to keep our community safe and healthy.”

Center for Employment Opportunities works to reduce recidivism and increase employment for those who were previously incarcerated. They provide those returning from prison with immediate paid employment, skills training, and ongoing career support.  Within the last year, CEO Rochester enrolled 130 people and hired more than 100 people into transitional employment. Data has shown that CEO programming can reduce recidivism in a community by 22%.

"We at the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Rochester are grateful for the state funding received from Senator Brouk and Assemblymember Clark,” said Jarmani Dozier, Site Director at Center for Employment Opportunities. “With this vital funding, we can further achieve our goal of servicing more justice impacted Rochester residents through their reentry process, and obtaining social and economic mobility for themselves and their families. We look forward to our continued partnerships with the Senator and Assemblymember, and to continue working to increase employment and reduce recidivism in the Rochester community and throughout New York State."

The funding awarded from Brouk and Clark will allow Center for Employment Opportunities to operate their core employment program. This program consists of five activities specifically designed to help those recently released from incarceration and who are justice-involved gain employment. Participants engage in workforce readiness training, paid transitional work, job coaching, job development (leading to job placement), and a full year of post-placement retention services. Individuals move through the activities at their own pace, enabling each person to focus on their own unique barriers to employment while adhering to CEO’s evidence-based model. 

“With so many gaps in the re-entry process, and a large number of barriers integrating back into society, it's no wonder that formerly incarcerated individuals struggle. No one leaves prison with a goal of returning, so it's imperative we invest in programs to help everyone succeed with re-entry. And we must use partners that have trust and credibility in the community they serve,” said Clark. “CEO is a leading organization with a proven track record of helping individuals exiting the criminal justice system, regardless of circumstance, connect with comprehensive employment opportunities. Thank you to Jarmani Dozier and the entire team at CEO for the life changing work supporting justice impacted individuals build stability for themselves and their families."

Additionally, CEO is making significant investments in advanced training for its program participants in key target areas which represent upwardly mobile career opportunities for the reentry population. This includes their Commercial Driver’s License Pathway, IT Training Pathway and their Emerging Leaders Program.

"CEO has been there for me from the beginning - providing me with immediate work so I could provide for myself and my family,” said Michael Mitchell, client of Center for Employment Opportunities. “The trainings and certifications they offer give me a lot of options for thinking about where I see my future career being. I've been able to think about my future more optimistically, and am grateful for everyone at CEO who has helped me so far in my journey."


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