Offender Employment Retention Specialist (OERS) Training
NOTE: This event has been postponed. The new dates will be posted when available.
TBD--The Offender Employment Retention Specialist Training (OERS) combines motivational interviewing techniques with cognitive behavioral principles to teach practitioners how to increase the offenders’ motivation for change while addressing the thoughts and feelings that negatively impact employment retention and successful reentry.
Offender workforce development programs should target offenders at high risk for recidivism, address the dynamic influences that predict crime, and provide intervention specific to the needs of the offender. The Employment Retention Initiative supports the development of strength-based programs administered by qualified and well-trained staffs to assess offenders at high risk for job loss, identify specific job loss indicators, and provide support to break the chain of events and/or behaviors that result in termination.
A major component of this initiative is the provision of a competency-based Offender Employment Retention Specialist (OERS) training for individuals involved in offender workforce development. The training, delivered using a combination of both classroom-based and distance learning instruction, is the third course in a series specific to offender workforce development (with Offender Employment Specialist training and Offender Workforce Development Specialist training being the first two courses, respectively). This training builds on the relationship between the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI) techniques. Combining these two research-based methods helps the offender create a solid foundation for self-exploration, one that helps resolve any ambivalence to change.
In addition, this training provides instruction in the administration of an Employment Retention Inventory (ERI) that identifies an offender’s precursors to job loss while creating a process to connect the offender to specialized services that successfully address recidivism and risk for job loss.
Research suggests that unstable employment histories and low levels of personal, educational, and vocational achievement help predict continued criminal involvement for offenders, noting that the work history for many offenders was fragmented prior to their initial contact with the criminal justice system. Any effort to help offenders maintain their connection to the workforce warrants the implementation of innovative approaches to address the behavioral health of offenders classified as being at high risk for job loss.
The specialized Offender Employment Retention Specialist Training, which combines cognitive behavioral principles with motivational interviewing strategies, gives participants the knowledge, skill, and abilities to effectively administer an Employment Retention Inventory to connect offenders to services and programs that support their long-term attachment to the workforce.
This 40-hour training course—which includes 4 hours of virtual instructor-led instruction, 4 ½ days of classroom-based training, and 4 hours of lab work—will broaden the ability of the practitioner to develop strategies for change while improving offender outcomes through collaboration with stakeholders. In addition, practitioners will increase their knowledge in employment retention, career development theory and application, facilitation skills, transitional intervention, and the role of assessment in career planning and job placement.
OERS graduates will receive professional certification through the National Workforce Institute (NWI). In addition, CEUs will be provided for OERS online instruction, classroom training, and participation in follow-up webinars.
Certified Offender Workforce Development Specialists working with offenders to address the multiple barriers/obstacles affecting their ability to retain gainful employment. Certified Global Career Development Facilitators and Community Corrections Professionals are encouraged to apply.
Applicants must submit the following (in PDF format):
1. Statement of interest (500 words or less) describing:
- a. Activities as an offender workforce development specialist.
- b. Motivation for OERS training.
2. Proof of OWDS certification
3. Proof of GCDF certification (if applicable)
This program does not have a video.