This week Jaime Tamez, Safety Coordinator, and I attended the Minnesota Department of Corrections Offender Employment Specialist (OES) training workshop. The three day workshop explored various topics concerning offender employment specialization and highlighted yet another exciting employment opportunity for graduates of the Minnesota School of Business Criminal Justice Program. With the large number of incarcerated offenders in Minnesota, and an overwhelming majority of them returning to the community, the state is looking for individuals versed in criminal justice services to help ex-offenders reintegrate into the community by securing and maintaining meaningful employment. The diverse array of needs include, but are not limited to, offender assessment and programming, community resources and collaboration, pre-employment and job readiness skills, job placement/retention strategies, and job development and placement.
Besides participating in the entertaining curriculum and informative programming, Jaime and I had the opportunity to network with over fifty community-based program staff, offender employment specialists, pre-release coordinators, workforce center staff, parole/probation staff, correctional staff, client management specialists, non-profit directors, educators, and administrators. Additionally, the OES training workshop hosted a variety of guest speakers including Gary Biedler, Director of Offender Workforce Development at MINNCOR Industries; Rachel Vilsack, Coordinator of Special Projects at MN Department of Employment & Economic Development; Karen Marberry, Director of the WOTC & Bonding Program; Mike Hreha, Job Developer; and Mark Groves, Facilities Re-entry Coordinator at Minnesota Department of Corrections. The three day event provided us with an abundance of new perspectives, challenging yet rewarding programming, and a plethora of networking opportunities.
For more information on the Criminal Justice Program at Brooklyn Center, please contact Ryan Samuelson at 763-566-7777.