Construction worker with drill

Successful transitions for the formerly incarcerated

How the Center for Employment Opportunities in Albany works to reduce recidivism

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 exclusively to individuals who have recently returned home from incarceration. CEO’s strategy is to address individual barriers to employment by developing lasting attachments to the workforce 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 percent more likely to be employed than the comparison group.

Since 2009, CEO has advocated for investment in employment-focused reentry support, fair wages and vocational training programs. The organization 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. 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 the Bank of America, CEO Albany is now able to offer its curriculum, which has shown to reduce recidivism by 19% and increase employment rates by 52%. This support is part of the bank's $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.