What is Hope 2 Hire?
The Hope 2 Hire partners believe the most important variable to improve the recidivism rate is a clear path to legitimate employment opportunities. To create these employment opportunities, the Shelby County Division of Corrections (SCDC) will screen participants based on a variety of assessments and evaluations. Inmates residing within SCDC will have release dates of no more than nine months, have no disciplinary write-ups within 30 days of program acceptance, submit to and pass random drug tests, and be enrolled or have completed Cognitive Restructuring training.
Once accepted into the program, participants will receive work readiness and life skills training and choose a career path. The work readiness and life skills training will be offered by HopeWorks as well as SCDC; this training will include letter and resume writing skills, completing employment applications, and interviewing. The life skills training includes handling problems on the job, dealing effectively with bosses and co-workers, attendance on the job, and handling criticism.
The career paths offered by Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) include Building Construction Technology, Masonry, and Logistics. The Building Construction Technology and Masonry programs are designed to reflect the skill sets required for entry-level employment. The logistics program will utilize the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Logistics Technician program. These training programs were selected based on employment demands, wages paid, and friendly hiring status toward ex-offenders. Each training program will last 13 weeks.
Upon successful completion of the program and release from SCDC, participants will be assisted with resources and referrals by HopeWorks; some of these resources are state-issued identification, social security cards, bus passes, food, prescription medication, clothes, drug tests, and health/hygiene items. As they become stable, they will receive job placement services or they can matriculate to TCAT for more training and certification. HopeWorks will continue to assist participants with case management and support.
Hope 2 Hire provides support, life and job skills training for people with a history of involvement with the criminal justice system, and places them in employment that offers a sustainable quality of life.