Working Ahead: A Guide for Connecting Youth Offenders with Employment Opportunities
National H.I.R.E. Network, US Department of Labor, Pacific-Western Region, 2004
This guidebook is primarily intended to help case managers working with juveniles that have been involved with the criminal justice system. Divided into four chapters, the aim of this workbook is to acquaint practitioners with the issues youth offenders face when seeking employment and the resources available to them.
The first chapter offers an overview of the various federal laws and initiatives that a case manager working with a youth offender needs to understand in order to best aid the client in the job search. Issues addressed include how to deal with mental health instability, the need for confidentiality, and understanding the labor market in a particular city. Particularly helpful in this chapter is the explanation given of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which is major point of leverage for those advocating for employment for ex-offenders.
The second chapter explores the reality of accessing, understanding, and expunging an ex-offender’s criminal record. Although procedures vary from state to state, this chapter informs the case manager as to what options are available to juvenile ex-offenders in terms of dealing with their criminal record. The third chapter provides explicit, accessible advice for ex-offenders as they seek to understand the job market in their city, fill out job applications, and prepare for interviews. Chapter 4 is a helpful resource guide intended to provide any other necessary assistance for those seeking employment.
Why does FASTEN recommends this resource?
This Guidebook is an informative, helpful resource for anyone who wants to better understand the difficulties juvenile ex-offenders face when seeking employment. Because it is a government document (produced by the DOL), it offers a definitive resource on issues such as the WOTC and legal issues faced by juvenile ex-offenders.