Center For Employment Opportunities – Work Program for Ex-Offenders

Center For Employment Opportunities – Work Program for Ex-Offenders

Studies find that the sooner an ex-offender finds employment the lower the recidivism rate is. The first few weeks upon release from prison are the ripest time for an ex-offender to feel hope and to be able to turn their lives around. And the sooner they can get into a work program, the more hopeful they can be and the more their self-esteem builds. This equals reduced recidivism rates and saves tax payers money.


In New York City there is an innovative and effective work program titled Center For Employment Opportunities.

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is dedicated to providing immediate, effective and comprehensive employment services to men and women with recent criminal convictions. Our highly structured and tightly supervised programs help participants regain the skills and confidence needed for a successful transition to a stable, productive life.

CEO’s vision is that anyone with a recent criminal history who wants to work has the preparation and support needed to find a job and to stay connected to the labor force.

In order to participate in this program, ex-offenders and staff must follow a set of standards and guidelines that CEO calls CEOCPS (CEO’S Company Principles of Success.)

C – Cooperation with Supervisors – participants must be able to follow instructions, policy, rules and take directions in a respectful way with a positive attitude and ask constructive questions.

E – Effort at Work – participants must be willing to stay constructively busy, do extra work, motivate others, work in a timely manner and show initiative.

O – On-time – must be ready to start work on time in the morning, after lunch and after breaks.

C – Cooperation with Co-workers
– participants must be willing to work as a team, work with a positive attitude and toward a common goal.

P – Personal Presentation – participants must be willing to dress appropriately, use eye contact with supervisors and co-workers, have physical energy, listen and communicate.

In the beginning, participants are paid minimum wage and generally work at landscape and janitorial jobs. However, if the ex-offenders stay with the program, they learn valuable work skills that can elevate them into higher-paying jobs. Each participant receives a daily paycheck at the end of their work shift. This daily paycheck gives the participants daily money to help with their transition from prison to the community and proves that hard work equals pay.


Once accepted into the program, CEO  will help with:
    Five-day pre-employment workshop
    Resume and interview help
    Transitional employment
    Job search and job matches
    Up to $1,000 in rewards after placement

Qualifications are simple:
    Are you on parole or probation
    Are you currently unemployed
    Are you cable to do physical labor at transitional worksites

To learn more about this very successful work program for ex-offenders, please read more here.