Community Employer Forum

Community Employment Forum

Community Employment Forum

Correctional Industries hosted Discover Washington's Hidden Workforce, An Employer Forum, at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup on October 11th. Guests totaled 173 and included employers, community partners, DOC and CI staff, several successful former DOC inmates, and 11 currently-incarcerated Cedar Creek CI Workers. The Employer Forum included an array of product displays to represent the work men and women accomplish through our program, three panels, guest speakers, a keynote speaker - Retired Seahawk Ricardo Lockette- and a CI produced lunch.

While many people in the room were already supportive of the concept of providing opportunities to people releasing from prison, we gladly had some participants new to the concept. Correctional Industries' work does not end with providing job training on the inside; CI's goal is to partner with releasing inmates and employers to connect men and women with jobs, and provide employers with a unique, skilled and motivated labor pool. Men and women reintegrate into society on a regular basis and seek gainful employment to advance their personal goals, contribute in a meaningful way, find a productive outlet, and support their families. Employment is a protective factor against recidivism, which improves public safety. As members of society, we can provide releasing CI workers with opportunities to find employment success in Washington's communities. Too often we forget that these communities are also their communities.

Please stay tuned for news about a future CI Employer Forum. Engagement can start now. Let us know if you would like to volunteer for a Mock Interview fair at one of our major institutions, or if you have employment opportunities for men and women reintegrating into society. Correctional Industries is proud to partner with others toward this end. ■