For Immediate Release
DALLAS • A national pilot program for training is underway in Dallas to help federal, state and private agencies assist criminal offenders as they attempt to re-enter the workforce. The Offender Workforce Development Specialist, OWDS, training program brought together the Dallas County Community College District along with federal, state and local corrections agencies. The DCCCD has supplied locations at Brookhaven and El Centro Colleges for the program, which focuses on increasing the employment and training opportunities for offenders.
The training program is the first of its kind to bring together the Federal Bureau of Prisons, BOP, National Institute of Corrections, NIC, and the United States Probation Office. In recent months, 32 selected participants representing 17 partnering organizations, from 12 cities in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, have taken part in the training program. Those who complete the training can apply for the national certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator through the National Career Development Association.
Participants represent organizations such as Worksource for Dallas County, Project RIO, juvenile probation, state parole, Texas Youth Commission, Texas Offender Reentry Initiative, DCCCD staff, federal and local probation officers and BOP staff, halfway house employment specialists and the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Bringing these organizations together, the U.S. Probation Office hopes to establish better interagency collaboration to more effectively use and share resources. By creating a unified effort with personnel who share training, the OWDS hopes to increase employment and training opportunities for offenders. They will focus on career-oriented jobs with livable wages based on employer needs. Ultimately, the U. S. Probation Office, BOP and NIC believe better serving offenders needs will improve supervision success, increase public safety and reduce recidivism.
For additional information about the National Institute of Corrections Offender Workforce Development Division, go to http://www.nicic.org/OWD. For additional information about Brookhaven College and training partnerships, call 972-860-4700.
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