One mistake doesn’t have to lead to another. Yet for many, the wrong place at the wrong time is a final sentence. It shouldn’t be this way. The large majority of convicted criminals shouldn’t be returning to prison shortly after they are released.
The clients of Ready4Work don’t.
After The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay helped to provide the operational capital to establish Ready4Work, work began immediately to help ex-convicts find their way back to a productive life. Since 2003, this great organization has mentored, cared for, and trained former inmates who’ve served time for non-violent, non-sexual crimes. They are given life coaching, job training, and job placement assistance to help turn their life around and break the cycle of incarceration. This takes the burden of care off the system, out of the taxpayer’s pocket, and places it solely on the prepared shoulders of the clients themselves.
That is what they're called here — clients. Because Ready4Work treats them with respect, building their esteem and giving them encouragement to make it through the darkness of their past. All the client needs to do is be ready to work hard and complete a 4-6 week career development course where they partner with a case manager for work skill, guidance, and support.
During her time in prison, Kellie Johnson made a decision. She was going to be a person of positive influence. So her first call after being released was to Ready4Work. They saw in her the one thing she needed for a bright future — ambition. Kellie never missed a day of career development. She used the instruction to become confident and obtain a job. She promptly started getting promotions. Kellie is now the manager of her office where she has a unique and incredible opportunity to be that person of positive influence. She now hires other Ready4Work grads.