The Employment Services Unit (ESU) applies a unique approach to creating safer communities and reducing offender recidivism by helping to prepare individuals who are under probation supervision to enter and remain in the workforce. Through collaborative efforts with the New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA), the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), local not-for-profits agencies, and local employers, the ESU has developed and implemented an employment readiness and retention program called Ready, Set, Work! This five week intensive program helps those under probation supervision with proper application creation, interview skills, overcoming barriers, job search strategies, retention planning, and skill development.
Once the individual has completed the Ready, Set, Work! group, the ESU continues to work with them, developing job leads, identifying appropriate job matches, and helping to refine skills that the individual learned in Ready, Set, Work!
Upon the individual's gaining appropriate employment, the ESU continues to work with him and the employer, ensuring we have put a quality employee into the right situation. The ESU has developed relationships with local employers to help place and retain good employees. We also continue to work with the individual through our Retention Counts! program. Through this program the ESU continues to refine the individual's retention plan, work on barriers or challenges that they may face now that they are employed, and continue to work with employers to develop good employees who remain employed with their company. The overall goal of this program is to help individuals retain their employment.
Also in collaboration with NYSDPCA and NYSDOL, the ESU provides Employment Matters! training to other probation departments and partner agencies throughout New York State. Employment Matters! is a 7-hour workshop designed to equip probation officers, One-Stop partners and other employment service providers with information useful in helping offenders and ex-offenders obtain and keep employment. Employment Matters! is a curriculum based on the concepts and practices of Offender Workforce Development.
For further information on Albany County Probation Department's Employment Services Unit, please contact Matt Charton, Offender Workforce Development Specialist (Matthew.Charton@albanycounty.com), or Craig MacNeil, Offender Workforce Development Specialist (Craig.MacNeil@albanycounty.com), or call (518) 487-5230.