In May of this year, the jobless rate hit an 18-year low. The ability for employers to fill jobs continues to be a tremendous challenge. Job placement agencies are struggling to maintain a large and diverse pool of applicants to place.
Despite this dynamic, those still unemployed find it increasingly difficult to land a job. There are many reasons for this, chief among them being an applicant’s skills-gap; the difference between the skills employers want and those that applicants possess.
The amount of time an applicant is unemployed is another contributing factor impeding successful job placement. The longer a job seeker is out of the workforce, the wider the skills-gap is perceived to be. A study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston showed applicants’ chances of finding work drop dramatically after six months of unemployment. Add a stain on an applicant’s record and you’ve completed a job placement head-wind hat-trick. Studies confirm what may be intuitively obvious: job seekers with a criminal record are much less likely to obtain employment, all other factors being equal.
Addressing the Challenges
secureLearn is a controlled Internet access platform geared to providing inmates with access to online resources. When inmates have access to educational content, recidivism and re-entry success rates improve. By simultaneously working with job placement agencies and having access to education resources, inmates can strategically further their qualifications. In addition, they can remain current on existing employer needs. Though their time out of the workforce is obvious, educational pursuits as well as other holistic life-skill training courses can fill an inmate’s void in employment. These endeavors improve an ex-offender’s viability in the workforce.
Controlled access to on-line resources has been a win-win-win for job placement agencies, inmates and employers. Job placement agencies are expanding their pool of applicants. Inmates are receiving direction on what skill-building activities are most needed. Employers are able to fill positions with individuals with targeted qualifications. Furthermore, when a re-entrant has a job, recidivism rates drop, prison budgets improve and the tax base expands.