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Conference Schedule

This year we are pleased to announce “tracks of inquiry” for the conference’s concurrent sessions. While we believe conference attendees will benefit from all the sessions on this year’s agenda, the tracks of inquiry can help you tailor your conference experience to the role you play in the reentry workforce ecosystem, providing you with the specific knowledge you need to advance your work as we progress together for greater equity in the field:

Employer Engagement provides examples, best practices, and case studies from organizations building transformative relationships with employers. Attendees will be challenged to be thoughtful in how we develop a talent pipeline that prepares and places participants in jobs and consider how we can work with employers to create more inclusive cultures for people impacted by the justice system.

Program Improvement highlights examples, case studies, strategies, and approaches that are used to implement evidence-informed practices to strengthen program delivery and the skills practitioners need to implement programs to fidelity. This track also delves into ways to build program and organizational capacity to strengthen measurable outcomes and increase our collective impact. 

Systems & Community Collaboration examines the strong partnerships between systems and community that are essential in order to build strong ecosystems that streamline a continuum of care and access to resources. This track highlights examples, case studies, and approaches that are facilitating strong partnerships between systems and community. 

Collateral Consequences covers topics related to policies and practices in the field that are removing barriers to opportunity for people who are impacted by the justice system and how to navigate and challenge the legal & regulatory restrictions that limit or prohibit access to employment, business and occupational licensing, housing, voting, education, and other rights, benefits, and opportunities. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 5:30p – 6:30p – Welcome Reception

DAY ONE: Wednesday, October 25, 2023

  • Continental Breakfast

    7:30a – 8:30a

    Enjoy your morning networking with your fellow conference attendees.

  • General Session

    8:45a – 9:15a

    NRWC Welcome & Opening Presentation
    Jason Whyte – Founder, President & CEO National Reentry Workforce Collaborative (NRWC)

  • General Session

    9:15a – 10:15a

    Opening Plenary Panel: From Incarceration to Transformation
    Moderator: Jeffrey Abramowitz – CEO, Petey Greene Program
    Ashley Furst – Director of Marketing, Breakthrough
    Ronald F. Day, Ph.D., MPA – Vice President of Programs and Research, The Fortune Society
    William E. Arnold, Jr., Ed.D. – Director, Office of Reentry, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

    Reentry workforce stakeholders bring a variety of life experiences to their work, enhancing and progressing the field through their diversity. This panel discussion highlights the unique experience and perspectives brought by those directly impacted by the justice system. Our panelists are experts in their field who have “walked the journey” and are now committed to working with others who are impacted by the justice system, to change the trajectory of their lives. They will share their stories, the lessons they learn along the way, and the things they are doing in their work to help people across the country to transform their lives.

  • Break

    10:15a – 10:30a
  • Concurrent Sessions

    10:30a – 11:30a

    The LEAP Incarceration to Community Approach to Reentry for Women
    Mahlia Lindquist – Executive Director, Ladies Empowerment & Action Program (LEAP)
    Nancy DeNike – Director of the Reentry Hub for Women, Ladies Empowerment & Action Program (LEAP)

    This presentation will describe how the Ladies Empowerment & Action Program (LEAP),  a community‐based re‐entry program in Miami, that for 13 years has delivered programming specifically geared toward the needs of women.  LEAP provides 250+ hours of in-prison classes to women, and recently launched classes at the local women’s jail. Post-release services include transitional housing and employment at LEAP Dragonfly social enterprise.  This presentation will describe LEAP’s programming, including lessons learned, successes, and challenges.

    Collaborative Sector Strategies: Building Talent Pipeline with Community-Based Organizations, Employers, and Industry Associations
    Shea Zwerver – Workforce Development Manager, Flagger Force
    Patricia Gill – Director, Workforce Development National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
    David Gianfrancesco – Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, Safer Foundation

    Reintegrating individuals into the workforce after a period of incarceration is a complex challenge that demands innovative solutions. This session explores how collaborative sector strategies, facilitated by community-based organizations, employers, and industry associations, can create pathways to successful reentry, meaningful employment, and community safety. Join us to uncover best practices, success stories, and insights into forging impactful partnerships that support individuals who have been impacted by the justice system while benefiting industries and society at large.

    The Role of the Intermediary: Building Capacity, Transforming Community
    Joey Nuñez Estrada Jr., Ph.D – California Director of Innovation and Impact, Latino Coalition for Community Leadership
    Leo Alirez – Executive Director, Life-Line Colorado
    Richard Paul Morales – Executive Director, Latino Coalition for Community Leadership
    Armando Torreblanca – Reentry Program Director, Project Hope CA

    Public safety strategies often omit community and faith-based organizations as valued and equitable partners in the overall approach to public health and safety. Yet, many community-driven solutions are led by people with a strong attachment to the community, possess the trust and recognition of the local community members and often have lived experience of the very issue they are working to address. An intermediary can play an essential role in bridging the divide between public funding and community. An intermediary can provide infrastructure, training (grant compliance, capacity building, technical assistance that demystifies “government speak”, and eco- system development that builds a landscape of transparency, partnership, and cross-sectoral collaboration. Additionally, they play a crucial role in bridging the gap and serving as translators between funders, government agencies, workforce institutions, and other agencies and the communities in which they work. In this session, the LCCL will share their unique intermediary model – find, fund, form, feature model – that they use to drive monies deeply into community and develop organizations that otherwise would have not received funding for important efforts such as the reentry workforce.

  • Break

    11:30a – 11:45a
  • General Session


    Resource-Based Sentencing and Supervision
    Judge Stephanie Sawyer – Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas
    Remy DeMarco – Executive Director, The Accountability Project

    Resource-Based Sentencing and Supervision is a comprehensive program which acts as a proactive system of accountability designed to reduce recidivism and only incarcerate those that truly need to be, for public safety reasons. This system of accountability requires sentencing judges to identify the reason(s) for the offense, order conditions which directly address the identified reason(s), engage with the defendant to construct a comprehensive plan on precisely how to meet the ordered condition(s), and critically thereafter conduct periodic status hearings to hold the defendant accountable to make reasonable progress on fulfilling the sentencing condition(s). Further, the program holds the resources used and the defendants using those resources directly accountable to the sentencing and supervising judge, while simultaneously holding the judge accountable to only order conditions for which the defendant is referred to a cost-free resource that will assist the defendant in fulfilling the ordered condition(s).

  • Lunch

    12:30p – 1:30p

    Enjoy lunch with your fellow attendees. (Lunch will be provided.)

  • Concurrent Sessions

    1:30p – 2:30p

    We’re all in this together: a holistic approach to advocating for reentry
    Amanda L. Nowak, PhD – Senior Program Associate, Vera Institute of Justice
    Dennis Ritchie, JD – Senior Director of Reentry, Goodwill Industries of KY
    John Wetzel – Chief Executive Officer, Phronema Justice Strategies, LLC
    Patrick O. Peters – Principal & Office Litigation Manager, Jackson Lewis P.C.- Cleveland Office
    Adam Haley – Director of Policy and Strategy, Goodwill Industries of KY
    John Jenks – Economic Initiatives Director, Wyoming Business Council

    Panelists will be led by moderator, Dennis Ritchie of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, for a discussion on best practices in public policy for reducing barriers to reentry, improving collaboration with community services organizations and employers, and how best to engage with policymakers at the state and local level to advocate for change. The panelists represent community organizations, government, education, and businesses engaged in fair chance hiring and will discuss the ways in which cross-collaboration has led to successful policy change. Finally, the session will discuss the assets and needs of our communities, and address common challenges and objections from employers and community partners.

    Organizational Change & Fair Chance Hiring: One Hospital System’s Approach to Creating Systemic Change & Employment Pathways
    Alexis Devine – Program Manager, Lifespan
    Jay Benitez – Program Coordinator, Lifespan
    Salomao Monteiro, Jr. – Training Coordinator, Lifespan

    Lifespan, Rhode Island’s largest employer and healthcare system, created Pathway to Employment (PTE), a work-based learning program for individuals impacted by the criminal legal system. Lifespan recognized this population as untapped talent that could solve the staffing crisis. Additionally, meaningful employment statistically reduces recidivism, overuse of emergency departments, and improves outcomes for communities at large.    
    The PTE 16-week program hires 10 people /cohort, who would otherwise be ineligible for employment due to existing adjudication policies. Participants earn $17.00/hour, working 40 hours/week as transport aides at RI Hospital, a level 1 Trauma Center. They receive intensive work readiness training, wrap around support services, case management, and one to one counseling with Human Resources recruitment specialist to access permanent employment post program.   
    The presentation will review core components of PTE’s implementation and success including, 1) employer buy-in and community stakeholder partnerships, 2) recruitment and vetting practices, 3) modifying business policies and practice, 4) resolving organizational risk mitigation involving legal, compliance, and human resources departments, 5) community agency collaboration and support services, 6) work-readiness and emotional intelligence curriculum, 7) addressing  employment barriers for justice involved population, 8) teaming with hospital manager, 9) challenges, 10) outcomes, 11) funding, 12) sustainability, 13) and potential for replication elsewhere.

    Leading with Lived Experience to Advance Good Jobs for Front-Line Workers
    Terah Lawyer-Harper – Executive Director, CROP Organization
    Brianna Rogers – Associate Initiative Officer, San Francisco Foundation

    Both Terah Lawyer-Harper and Brianna Rogers are proximate leaders who bring their lived experience to executive roles in direct service and philanthropy. Terah is the Executive Director of the CROP Organization, a reentry workforce organization based in Oakland, California. Brianna Rogers is the Associate Initiative Officer for a funded collaboration of regional workforce leaders, direct service providers and funders. Through their collaboration on grantmaking and field building with the Equity at Work Council, Terah and Brianna advocate for equitable and sustainable organizational practices that value the acumen of frontline workers’ lived experience. “Good jobs,” also means creating a nonprofit work culture that invests in the health, well-being and living wages for its employees. At CROP, where 75% of staff are justice-impacted, the organization commits itself to center people with lived experience in the leadership and governance of its board. This session will discuss the Equity at Work collaborative goals, leading as WOC with lived experience, and the power dynamic at play with funders. They will also share ideas from the field about how to advance worker power for individuals with lived experience in the workforce profession.

  • Networking Break

    2:30p – 3:00p
  • General Session

    3:00p – 4:00p

    Featured State: Leading a Trauma-Informed State
    Kelly Evans – Executive Deputy Secretary for Community Corrections Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
    Rob Reed – Director, Reentry, Trauma, and Reform Initiatives Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

    In 2019, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf unveiled the “Protection of Vulnerable Populations” Executive Order, an overhaul of state services and systems to protect the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians. One of the key directives from Governor Wolf was to establish Pennsylvania as a trauma-informed state to better respond to the needs of people who have had adverse childhood or other serious, traumatic experiences. Our panel will discuss how this statewide effort to make all state departments trauma informed has shifted outcomes for justice-impacted individuals and the broader implications for reentry workforce initiatives and partnerships.

    NRWC’s perennial “Featured State” session highlights the work being done by an individual state, or in this case a commonwealth, that advances the reentry workforce field.

  • Break

    4:00p – 4:15p
  • Concurrent Sessions

    4:15p – 5:15p

    Supporting Best Outcomes for Justice Impacted Youth
    Richard Ramos – Executive Director, Latino Coalition for Community Leadership

    Join us for an enlightening and impactful session focused on supporting justice-impacted youth as they strive to build successful, fulfilling lives after encountering the criminal justice system. This session aims to shed light on the challenges faced by these young individuals and explore effective strategies to help them achieve the best possible outcomes and unlock their full potential. Together, we can help these young individuals build a brighter future and contribute positively to society.

    Tapping a Workforce Goldmine through Transitional Employment Opportunities
    Malia K. Salaam – Reentry Program Manager, SER Metro-Detroit & SERCO
    Cherri Harris – CEO, Swint Logistics, Swint Logistics Group Incorporated (SLGI)
    Guy Ross – Business Development Manager, Fontenot Services, LLC
    Shawn Burch – Director of Reintegration Services, Health Management Systems of America (HMSA)

    This workshop will examine the use of subsidized transitional employment opportunities as a bridge to permanent unsubsidized employment for adjudicated and formerly incarcerated adults. Transitional employment can fulfill the needs of: providing immediate income while strengthening participants’ confidence, skills, and habits in a safe environment as they prepare to re-enter the workforce. Workshop attendees will learn the pros and cons of the two primary types of transitional employment: 1) Temporary Work Experience or Try-Out Employment and 2) On-The-Job Training (OJT). Strategies will be shared on how best to recruit and cultivate business partners as mentors for participants and how to build subsidized job opportunities ‘from the ground up’ as a key component of a reentry program, including the identification of funding sources. During the facilitated panel, three employers from various sectors will share their experiences with transitional employment and its effectiveness in developing a pipeline of future employees. Attendees will be provided resources to bring a transitional employment initiative to fruition in addition to a Transitional Employment Toolkit with examples of: a) employer outreach materials, b) employer and participant contracts, c) employer and participant satisfaction surveys, and d) employer site visit checklist.

    At the Intersection of Reentry, Public Safety and Community Violence Intervention: A Comprehensive Strategy that Merges Priorities
    Caitlin Dawkins – Co-Director, National Reentry Resource Center | Principal Technical Assistance Consultant, American Institutes for Research

    A comprehensive strategy is essential to support the more than 400,000 people who leave state and federal prisons and over 7 million people who cycle through jails annually and reenter their communities. This session will highlight the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) and its evidence-based Building Second Chances reentry toolkit that attendees can use to advance reentry and safer communities. Attendees will learn promising practices that have emerged from a pilot program, the Local Reentry Community of Practice, that is trailblazing the field by utilizing the reentry toolkit and partnerships across diverse stakeholders to merge reentry, public safety, and community violence intervention priorities. Attendees will learn how to access and use the NRRC’s reentry toolkit.

DAY TWO: Thursday, October 26, 2023

  • Continental Breakfast

    7:30a – 8:30a
    Enjoy your morning networking with your fellow conference attendees.
  • General Session

    8:45a – 10:00a

    Fair Chance Hiring: Exploring the Employer Cohort Training Model
    Moderator: Jeffrey Korzenik – Author, Untapped Talent  | Chief Economist, Fifth Third Commercial Bank
    Brian Fabes – Managing Director, Corporate Coalition | Sr. Fellow, NORC at the University of Chicago | Sr. Advisor, Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago
    Matt Joyce – Partner, Envoy 
    Ryan Bowman – Program Manager, Workforce Recovery Program, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
    Sara Wasserteil – Managing Director, Cara Plus

    Join renowned second chance hiring advocate Jeffrey Korzenik as he explores the employer cohort training model with our panel of experts. Together they will discuss how this model prepares employers to tap into the justice-impacted talent pipeline, the role of individuals organizations in facilitating that process, and how companies benefit from working together towards a common goal.

  • General Session

    10:00a – 10:30a

    Using Data to Counter Employer Risk Perception
    Shawn Bushway – Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
    Ken Oliver – CEO, Checkr

    Despite the advances in second chance hiring in recent years, many employers are still hesitant to offer employment to job seekers with a criminal record due to perceptions that they pose a risk to workplace safety or may not be able to meet workplace expectations of conduct and performance. Thankfully, with an increasing body of research showing that these perceptions are often untrue, the successes of fair chance hiring are no longer simply anecdotal. This session will see the use of data and research findings to counter misconceptions employers may have and equip attendees with information and strategies to educate employers and advocate for fair chance hiring.

  • Networking Break

    10:30a – 11:00a
  • Concurrent Sessions

    11:00a – 12:00p

    Skills for the Future: Navigating the Age of AI, Metaverse, and the Gig Economy for Reentering Individuals 
    Raulvin Coke – Cofounder, Future Wise Group
    Shea Richburg – Cofounder, Future Wise Group

    Explore the evolving landscape of skills development in our engaging session with our panel of experts as we delve into the essential skills required to thrive in the digital age and the opportunities they present for reentering individuals. In this one-hour discussion, we will:
    Examine the impact of AI and automation:
    – Understand the influence of artificial intelligence and automation on workforce dynamics and job opportunities.
    – Explore how reentering individuals can adapt and acquire skills that align with the demands of AI-driven industries.
    Navigate the emerging Metaverse:
    – Dive into the concept of the Metaverse and its potential implications for work, collaboration, and personal development.
    – Discuss how reentering individuals can leverage the Metaverse as a platform for skill-building, networking, and entrepreneurial endeavors.
    Embrace the gig economy:
    – Uncover the advantages and challenges of the gig economy for reentering individuals seeking flexible and independent work opportunities.
    – Share strategies to harness the gig economy for building sustainable careers and financial stability.
    Identify future-proof skills:
    – Identify the critical skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing job market, including digital literacy, adaptability, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
    – Discuss strategies to equip reentering individuals with these skills through training programs and educational initiatives.
    Address equity and inclusivity:
    – Explore how to ensure equitable access to skill development programs and opportunities, taking into account the unique challenges faced by reentering individuals.
    – Discuss ways to create an inclusive environment that empowers individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate and excel in the age of AI, Metaverse, and the gig economy.
    Join us for an interactive session that combines thought-provoking discussions, real-world examples, and practical insights. Together, let’s explore how reentering individuals can navigate the rapidly evolving digital landscape and build sustainable careers in the age of AI, Metaverse, and the gig economy.

    Scaling a Second Chance Hiring Program
    Moderator: Shamia Lodge – Fellow for CEO Action for Racial Equity, MassMutual
    Melissa Dickerson – Chief of Staff, Honest Jobs
    John Buckley – Outreach Strategies Manager, Koch Industries

    Join John Buckley of Koch Industries and Melissa Dickerson of Honest Jobs for a fireside chat, facilitated by Shamia Lodge of CEO Action for Racial Equity, about how employers can successfully scale second-chance hiring. The need is urgent. Nationwide, there are 2 open roles for every 1 job seeker, yet millions of qualified workers are routinely rejected due to having past convictions. Tapping into this diverse, capable, eager talent pool boosts applicant flow and employee retention. Come learn how to launch and scale a highly successful second-chance hiring program.

    Building impactful apprenticeship readiness programming through public-private partnerships as a pathway to mortgage paying careers
    Candice Sporhase-White – Deputy Executive Director, Second Chance Center Colorado
    Khalil Halim – Executive Director, Second Chance Center, Inc.
    Jason Wardrip – Business Manager Colorado Building and Construction Trades Council
    Derrick Watson, MBA – Director, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, Denver Construction Career Program
    John A. Fraundorfer – Program Coordinator, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, Denver Construction Careers Program

    Second Chance Center in partnership with the North American Building and Trades Union, the Colorado Building and Trades Council, the Department of Economic Development and Opportunity Denver Construction Careers Program and the City and County of Denver have developed a hands-on, industry and lived experience led, apprenticeship readiness program in the construction trades. This leading-edge public/private partnership is creating direct entry into union apprenticeship programs, partnering with reputable employer partners committed to fair chance hiring, creating access to City and County Construction projects and mortgage paying salaries for justice involved individuals.

  • Lunch

    12:00p – 1:00p

    Enjoy lunch with your fellow attendees. (Lunch will be provided.)

  • General Session

    1:00p – 2:00p

    Successful Fair Chance Hiring Partnerships: Employers & Community Based Organizations
    Moderator: Nan Gibson – Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase & Co
    Beth Hannon Penny – Director, Grant Operations & Administration, Goodwill Industries International
    Harris Rollinger – Sr. Program Manager, Opportunity Talent, KeHE Distributors
    Kenyatta Leal – Executive Director, Next Chapter
    Madeline Bunce – Opportunity Employment Program Manager, MOD Pizza
    Monique Williams – Sr. Planning /Program/Portfolio Manager of Social Justice, American Family Insurance

    Collaboration is a central tenant of many successful fair chance hiring programs; by combining efforts and resources for a common goal, stakeholders can ensure better outcomes for justice-impacted people in their communities. However, bringing expectations into alignment can be difficult, particularly for businesses providing employment and community-based organizations. This “panel-to-panel” session will provide space to hear about the difference in expectations, both spoken and unspoken, from each side, and how these entities have and can continue to work together to ensure best outcomes for those they serve and employ.

  • General Session

    2:00p – 2:15p

    NRWC Value Proposition: Innovations to Transform the Field
    Jason Whyte – Founder, President & CEO National Reentry Workforce Collaborative (NRWC)

  • Break

    2:15p – 2:30p
  • General Session

    2:15p – 3:15p

    Philanthropic Funders Panel
    Moderator: Christopher Watler – Executive Vice President, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)
    Carson Whitelemons – Director of Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures
    Miguel Angel Cambray – Vice President, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
    Nyra Jordan – Community and Social Impact Investment Director, American Family Insurance
    Rashawn Ray – Vice President & Executive Director, American Institutes for Research (AIR) Equity Initiative

    Join us for a thought-provoking discussion on the immense potential of philanthropic funding in driving second chance hiring programs forward. Second chance hiring programs have emerged as powerful vehicles for social change and economic empowerment, supporting justice-impacted individuals and their communities. However, the success of such initiatives hinges on robust philanthropic support. This conference panel brings together philanthropists, experts, and advocates to explore the critical role of philanthropic funding in driving the success and expansion of second chance hiring programs. They will also discuss the broader work they are doing provide resources in the field.

  • Networking Break

    3:30p – 4:00p
  • Concurrent Sessions

    4:00p – 5:15p

    Cultivating Resiliency and Success with Trauma-Informed Care
    Hope Cross – Founder, Cultivating Hope Training and Consulting

    You entered the field to help the most at-risk populations overcome barriers and reach levels of success many believe aren’t possible. You have a fiery passion within you to make an IMPACT and help those who often are without a voice of their own. However, it’s no secret that we live in a time where each day presents new challenges that make helping those you serve harder and harder. This session is to remind you that helping people and making a LIFE-CHANGING IMPACT IS POSSIBLE. Trauma Informed Care (TIC) and Motivational Interviewing (MI) Tools can help you renew your vision, your passion, and your ability to overcome barriers and make the difference you were BORN TO MAKE! This session will include a variety of learning opportunities – from teaching and training to open-discussion, hands-on activities, and inspirational dialogue to give you exactly what it takes to head back to your mission field RENEWED and STRENGTHENED and with added tools to your toolbelt!
    Detailed Overview of Presentation Methods:
    You will walk away armed with:
    • How Trauma Plays a Role in both client and staff success
    • The Importance of Vision: What You See / What You Can’t See
    • The Importance of Developing a Strong Trauma-Informed Approach and Culture Within Your Individual Approach and Within Your Organizational Approach
    • Simple tools and strategies you can begin implementing IMMEDIATELY into your client services and staff growth and development.
    The training methods to be utilized include a variety of methods, usually beginning with an introduction and engaging activity followed by supporting material related to the training. Thought-provoking statements and questions are used to engage the audience and draw them into the training. Anywhere from 1 to 3 activities will be strategically placed throughout a training of this length and then the training will close with dialogue and questions to tie the learning points together with the goal of having each attendee leave both inspired and equipped with tools they can use immediately.

    Second Chance or Second Sentence: Navigating Unbearable Barriers
    Tanaine Jenkins – President, Everything I Am LLC
    Roohallah Mobarez – Founder/CEO, Mobarez Solutions

    The barriers that people who return from incarcerations face are like serving a second sentence, especially those convicted of particularly stigmatized offenses. This session will provide an overview of probation and the technical violations that can impede successful reentry and the barriers that returning citizens and justice-involved individuals face. Attendees will learn about practical strategies for overcoming the obstacles that prevent specific justice involved populations from accessing the resources they need to reintegrate while highlighting the importance of promoting restorative justice and creating a more inclusive future.

    Building Pathways and Partnerships: Developing New Workforce Reentry Programs
    Helen ‘Skip’ Skipper – Executive Director, NYC Justice Peer Initiative
    Amy Lopez – Executive Director, Hand2Heart DC Inc.
    Paul Taylor – ED of Community Relations, Hand2HeartDC Inc.
    Borden Barrows – Director of Programs, Hand2HeartDC Inc.

    This session will highlight the development of two new programs for justice-involved individuals: the Justice Peer Initiative in New York City and LEAD Out in Washington, D.C. Presenters will discuss the collaborations, ideologies, and logistics behind building these programs. The session will include an opportunity for attendees to workshop building pathways for justice involved peer employment.

DAY THREE: Friday, October 27, 2023 – Federal Friday

  • Continental Breakfast

    7:30a – 8:30a

    Enjoy your morning networking with your fellow conference attendees.

  • General Session

    8:45a – 10:30a

    Part I: The Federal Government’s Commitment to Serving the Reentry Population
    Moderator: Jason Whyte – Founder, President & CEO National Reentry Workforce Collaborative (NRWC)
    Brent J. Cohen  –
    Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
    Brent Parton – Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor
    Sean Addie – Director, Office of Correctional Education in the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

    Representatives from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Justice will discuss their agencies’ commitment to develop programs, form partnerships, and provide funding for the advancement of the reentry workforce field.

    Part II: Federal Programs
    Moderator: Ana Hageage – Chief of Staff, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor
    Andre Bethea – Senior Policy Advisor, Corrections, Reentry, and Justice Reform, U.S. Department of Justice
    Jennifer Kemp – Director, Division of Youth Services, Employment & Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor
    Manny Lamarre – Senior Advisor for Workforce, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor
    Molly Bashay – Policy Advisor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor

    Join us for a detailed discussion about the grants, programs, and partnerships federal agencies are undertaking and what that means for you and your work.

  • Break

    10:30a – 10:45a
  • Concurrent Session

    10:45a – 11:45a

    Integrating InReach and Comprehensive Support Services for Successful Re-entry
    Joe McDonald – CEO, New Freedom
    Kyle Harless – Business Development Officer, New Freedom
    Justin Proulx – Vocational Director, New Freedom

    Join us for a session on an innovative re-entry program that offers a holistic and human-centric approach to support inmates. Through intensive mentoring, therapeutic care, vocational training, and continued community guidance, we turn the challenge of re-entry into an opportunity for growth and integration. Learn how we’re not just aiding re-entry but empowering new beginnings. Our support starts well before release and continues after graduation. Upon successful completion of the program, recidivism drops to five percent (5%).

    Developing the Foundations for Success: 5 Strategies to Develop Essential Soft Skills
    Josh Davies – CEO, The Center for Work Ethic Development

    The pandemic changed the workplace as we know it. Millions of jobs have been radically transformed and the recipe for success has been scrambled. While technical skills are still important, the biggest concern for employers are the diminishing soft skills of the workforce. Nearly 9 out of 10 hiring managers in the U.S. report that the lack of these soft skills are THE most important factor in their hiring, and the lack of these skills leads to 89 percent of all terminations. This presents an amazing opportunity for justice-involved individuals re-entering the workforce. By developing these crucial work ethic skills we can give employers the confidence to hire a population they may not of previously chosen. This workshop will provide 5 key strategies for developing the essential work ethic skills with your participants. These proven strategies are already being used by leading organizations and institutions around the country to improve performance, retention, and job satisfaction. Discover how you can build work ethic and give your participants the foundational skills for success!

    Changing the Conversation: Building Strong Employer Relationships to Advance Fair-Chance Hiring
    Ellen Sauter – Workforce & Workplace Solutions Specialist, Cara Collective
    Liz Jones – Corporate Partnerships Lead, Cara Collective

    79 million Americans are impacted by the criminal justice system and often excluded from the workforce. But in a recent study by McKinsey & Co. and Cara Plus, formerly justice-involved frontline employees – when given a fair chance – get promoted more than any other group of people surveyed. So, how can we change the narrative around hiring someone with a background and what can companies do to integrate them into their talent strategies?    
    Workforce development organizations are uniquely positioned to help employers think through practices that reduce barriers to employment and build a more inclusive economy. That’s why Cara Plus recently published The AdvoKit: A Toolkit to Create Strong Employer Partnerships and Push for Inclusive Change; and in this session, we’ll unpack its strategies for workforce development practitioners eager to help companies realize the talent they miss out on when they don’t welcome justice-involved candidates.

  • Break

    11:45a – 12:00p
  • General Session

    12:00p – 12:45p

    Part III: Federal Policies
    Moderator: Carson Whitelemons – Director of Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures
    Brandi Mandato – Senior Director, Center for Justice and Economic Advancement, Jobs for the Future (JFF)
    John Sawyer – Senior Consultant, Health and Reentry Project
    Amanda L. Nowak, PhD – Senior Program Associate, Vera Institute of Justice

    Join us for this session in which we will hear about recent and upcoming changes to policies and programs in various federal departments and the impact on the reentry workforce ecosystem. Attendees will have ample opportunity to ask questions of our presenters.

  • NRWC Closing Remarks

    12:45p – 1:00p

    Mobilizing for Ongoing Success
    Jason Whyte – Founder, President & CEO National Reentry Workforce Collaborative (NRWC)

Updated 10-10-2023