Employment Core Services
Last updated 05/26/17
Employment Core Services for Low Income Persons, Immigrants, and Ex-Offenders
The Office of Community Services (OCS) currently administers several programs that serve low-income persons, immigrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking. The OCS programs related to employment training are funded by the State of Hawaii, and the programs for assistance to refugees and to U.S. and international victims of human trafficking are funded by the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.
State-Funded Employment Training Programs
OCS administers a program for Employment Core Services for Low-Income Persons (ECS-LIP). The ECS-LIP program provides training in certain work skills, and assistance to the trainees in finding employment and staying employed.
OCS administers a very similar program for Employment Core Services for Immigrants (ECS-IMM) funded by the State of Hawaii. Immigrants from anywhere, including persons from COFA nations – people from the Freely Associated States – the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, are eligible to participate. Like the ECS-LIP program, the ECS-IMM program covers training in work skills and assistance in finding employment and staying employed. However, the ECS-IMM program also incorporates language and acculturation modules.
Employment Core and Recidivism Prevention for Reintegrating Individuals (ECS-RPRI)
Nearly 4,000 inmates are currently incarcerated on contract with the State of Hawaii, with nearly half of them currently being housed out-of-State. A priority of the State’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) is to “reduce recidivism by focusing probation and parole resources on those most likely to reoffend . . . .” Ex-offenders striving toward re-integration face a number of challenges that do not apply to persons who have not been in prison. Educational, employment, and financial situations have all been widely recognized as indicators of the potential for recidivism.
Our Reintegration program is one of our New Day programs under our New Day Plan, which is pending approval of funding by the legislature. This Program will concentrate on targeted education to make ex-offenders more employable. This education will include basic skills training and job readiness services, assistance in increasing self-sufficiency through employment placement and to help them maximize their limited resources by educating them as to basic living and financial literacy matters. These services are intended to complement, rather than duplicate, other services that are already being provided by the Department of Public Safety and other governmental or private entities.
Individualized services will be prioritized to produce a person who has adjusted to society, has adequate support structures, and is prepared to seek and maintain employment, as well as advance in a career. Training should be available to fill gaps in knowledge and skill base, and Treatment should be available to improve conditions that may be creating a high risk for recidivism.
The service agencies will be cultivating relationships with prospective employers by determining employer personnel needs and monitoring progress of placed individuals. The service agency will arrange job interviews for its enrollees
Agencies will keep regular contact with employers, participants, and supervisory staff such as Probation Officers. They will continue to identify each person’s current barriers to employment and advancement, such as adjustment to work, career planning, substance abuse, money management/ economic independence, continued education, family violence, child care, health insurance, housing needs, court-ordered requirements and continued life skills training.
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