Community Re-Entry Program

Community Re-Entry Program Team

Workforce Re-Entry (A collaboration of several entities including NAACP, WEDC, Fund for Our Economic Future, and Behind Bars and Beyond)

Team:   Emma Cotter '20 and Halen Gifford '21

Advisors: Nate Addington (CDI's Office of Civic and Social Responsibility) and Cameron Maneese (former Director of Wayne County Family and Children First Council)

The 2018 AMRE Workforce Reentry Team was one of three social science projects completed this year. They looked into workforce reentry after a period of incarceration in Wayne County, Ohio. The Workforce Reentry Team had a number of different community clients: The Wooster/Orrville NAACP, The Noble Foundation, The Wayne Economic Development Council, The Fund for Our Economic Future, The College of Wooster’s Office of Civic and Social Responsibility, and Behind Bars and Beyond. The need for this project came out of the low unemployment rate in Wayne County (3.1%) which makes it difficult for employers to find employees, and the perceived unemployability of those who have returned to the community following a period of incarceration.  The Team endeavored to meet a number of different deliverables, including completing case studies on other reentry systems in other Ohio counties, studying supportive employment models, researching The College of Wooster’s hiring policies, gathering returning citizen interviews, and generating a database of employers in Wayne County who will hire returning citizens. In regard to the database, the Workforce Reentry Team cold-called over 400 businesses and were able to identify 60 businesses that will hire returning citizens in Wayne County. The Team successfully completed each of these deliverables and presented them at two final presentations open to the community, the first of which had over 70 attendees.