On August 4, 2020 the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) brought together 113 stakeholders, 8 panelists and 2 guest speakers to discuss Workforce Readiness for Formerly Incarcerated Persons (FIP).
The Honorable James Campos, Director of ED opened up the meeting describing FIP as a focus area within Equity in Energy (EIE). FIP is held under the Workforce Development Pillar with a goal to generate interest within corporate partnerships to expand access to workforce development trainings and job opportunities. Among the featured panelists, Jon Ponder, CEO of Hope for Prisoners, spoke about the necessity to help formerly incarcerated persons reconnect with their families. This type of support builds new foundations to help improve and create stronger relationships in their communities.
Tony Lowden, Executive Director of FICCPIR, Department of Justice, discussed the White House and Interagency efforts being done throughout the government to help with reentry. Organizations that focus on different things pertaining to FIP such as, teaching and creating training inside prisons, helping create opportunities once they get out, challenging the hiring regulations, reconnecting with family, accessing the necessities such as housing, food, income, etc. The panelists also teach companies about how to work with and hire people who have been formerly incarcerated and much more.
Vince Quarles, Deputy Director, Office of Minority Programs in ED closed out the webinar by summarizing the event and focusing on how organizations are better equipped to help people that are formerly incarcerated. Connections made today can and should be built in order to make the changes necessary. ED continues to foster and facilitate these relationships to bring people together.