Televerde Foundation Opens First Workforce Development Center

Televerde Foundation’s Career PATHS Center will enable incarcerated women to earn Customer Service, Computer Technicians and Sales Development Representative certificates

There is a growing skills gap in sales, customer service and IT-related positions affecting companies of all sizes. A recent survey shows the shortage of talent in the United States has tripled over the last 10 years. To add to that, eighty-one thousand women are released from prison each year, many of whom have the desire to join and succeed in the global workforce. Joblessness is the number one predictor for recidivism and the growing skills gaps could lead to a damaging $2.5 trillion impact on the economy over the next decade. Televerde Foundation has designed its Career PATHS Center to help solve these two major problems by creating a workforce development center that can be replicated across the country. Today, Televerde Foundation is announcing the opening of its first Career PATHS Center in Goodyear, Arizona, at the Arizona State Prison Complex Perryville.  The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry has been a longtime partner of Televerde in offering career and personal opportunities for incarcerated women.

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To enable women released from prison each year to join the global workforce while answering the need for more skilled workers, Televerde Foundation has developed Career PATHS, a robust prison-to-workforce reentry program that provides end-to-end wrap-around services for currently and formerly incarcerated women. The women that will be participating in this program are on average 12 months away from their release dates and at a critical point to start preparing for reintegration back into the community.

“Through our partnership with the Represent Justice Campaign, the Art for Justice Fund proudly supports Televerde Foundation’s first Career PATHS Center,” said Terrence Bogans, Advisor, Art for Justice. “At Art For Justice, we’re working to end mass incarceration by funding artists and advocates working together. Televerde’s Career PATHS Center will give women the skills needed to join the professional workforce, eliminating one of the largest barriers for formerly incarcerated individuals when they return home.”

Career PATHS is a 6-month program that includes the following components:

  • Business Fundamentals and Communications class designed and taught by Arizona State University professor Dr. Julia La Rosa
  • Customer Service training and certification from LinkedIn
  • Inside Sales course and certification from SV Academy
  • Computer Technician certification through Cisco’s Networking Academy
  • Televerde Foundation’s PATHS reentry program

“Designing the Business Fundamentals and Communications curriculum for Televerde Foundation’s Career PATHS and delivering it to the students in the program is one of the highlights of my academic career. The women in the program are strong, hard-working and inspiring and the skills they’re gaining in the Career PATHS program will give them the opportunity for a much brighter future,” said Dr. Julia La Rosa, Clinical Assistant Professor, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University. “The work Televerde Foundation is doing is incredibly important and it’s fulfilling to see renown institutions such as Arizona State University and McGraw-Hill support it.”

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The Televerde Foundation will use proven best practice models and certified, accredited curricula to ensure all program participants receive relevant, useful and reputable training and education. In addition, the foundation will partner and collaborate with government agencies, service providers, non-profits, faith-based organizations, community partners, higher-ed institutions and for-profit businesses to provide a complete suite of services necessary for successful reentry and career development. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive workplace credentials and certifications. As a result, participants will gain:

  • Employment – increasing post-incarceration employment from 54 percent to 80 percent
  • Salary – increasing average first-year earnings from $10,560 to $31,500+
  • Recidivism Reduction – reducing recidivism by 20 percent

“When you provide people with jobs, training and education while they are incarcerated and provide them real opportunity afterward, you empower them to have a better life,” said Michelle Cirocco, Executive Director of Televerde Foundation. “You enable them to not just have a job, but to have a career, one that enables them to realize their full potential, take care of themselves, their families, their children and never go back to prison.”

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