For the formerly incarcerated, reintegrating into their communities and finding jobs is critical. As the largest reentry employment provider in the country, the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides immediate, effective and comprehensive employment services to individuals who have recently returned home from incarceration. The organization — which was founded on the idea that everyone, regardless of their past, deserves the chance to work toward a stronger future for themselves, their families and their communities — operates in 31 cities around the country.
CEO’s strategy is to address individual barriers to employment by developing lasting attachments to the workforce in order to increase economic stability and reduce the risk of unemployment and recidivism. This includes immediate paid transitional employment and skill training, which is important for successful transitions. A study on recidivism in New York Statefootnote1 found that three years post-enrollment, CEO participants were 48% more likely to be employed than the comparison group.
Since opening in 2009, CEO Albany has advocated for investment in employment-focused reentry support, fair wages and vocational training programs. Bank of America has partnered with CEO Albany since 2020 and continues to support their mission with a grant to help the organization expand its reach and services. The support enables the organization to offer 115 people from the Capital Region jobs and skills training, food vouchers and other assistance. Many participants also receive Chromebooks with a free data plan for one year to support job search and job retention services.
Through support from community partners like Bank of America, CEO Albany is able to continue to offer its programs, which have been shown to reduce recidivism by 19% and increase employment rates by 52%. The support for the Center for Employment Opportunities is an example of Bank of America’s commitment to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity in local neighborhoods around the country. From entrepreneur funding and expanding home ownership to professional skills training and healthcare access, Bank of America continues to partner with innovative leaders to help communities implement solutions to society’s biggest challenges.