By Douglas Broome, Parole Administrator
Division of Adult Parole Operations

On July 13, the Los Angeles Central Parole District in collaboration with the City of Inglewood Mayor’s Office and South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB) One Stop Center hosted the Career Pathways 180 Job Preparation and Workshop Academy. This event was the third cohort since its inception in April 2017. The Career Pathways 180 comprises four days of academia that focuses on job preparedness, readiness and soft skills with a graduation ceremony and job fair on the fifth day.

The academy consisted of 40 formerly incarcerated men and women. Throughout the week, the 40 graduates received the support and encouragement from their agents, DAPO Supervisors and Managers, and SBWIB One Stop Center staff to participate and complete this life-changing workshop. Each day began with a different motivational speaker that inspired the class to take full advantage of the program so that they may create better future opportunities. The Career Pathways 180 committee developed a thorough and expansive curriculum that assist the formerly incarcerated with navigating, overcoming the hurdles, challenges of re-entry and with obtaining/maintaining employment.

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. shared with the graduates his commitment and efforts to create employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated. A longtime believer in second-chance opportunities, the mayor discussed how the city Of Inglewood, through its numerous projects that include hosting the 2021 Super Bowl, the Olympics,  the World Cup, and becoming the new home of the Los Angeles Clippers, has created an ideal climate that will foster sustainable employment, now and beyond.

Actor Danny Trejo, who spoke at the inaugural graduation in April 2017, returned to impart some sage advice to the newest graduating class. When he was younger, Trejo served time in state prisons.

Trejo urged the graduates to invest in themselves as well as others. He attributed his success, growth and development to simply helping and inspiring others to see their potential. He told the group have a plan, develop, implement, reassess and adjust accordingly to obtain their goals.

Former graduate Victor Francisco shared his post-graduate journey from volunteer to permanent employment. He encouraged the graduating class to have a positive attitude and a willingness to work which he credits allowing him to secure permanent employment.

Graduate Benjamin Jung expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the job academy. As a result, Jung now feels that he is in a position to not fail.

As with the previous cohorts, in preparation for their interviews, each graduate was given business attire which included suits/dresses, shirts and shoes.

The job fair hosted 10 employers in various fields. On that day, seven graduates received immediate employment offers; five applied to take exams for the construction and electrical trades; and the remaining are pending second interviews.

The Career Pathway 180 Job Preparation and Workshop Academy has been and continues to be one of the Los Angeles Central Parole District’s transformational opportunities that has led to transitional growth and development for life beyond parole. On this day, the impact and effectiveness of the academy was evident by the optimism and exuberance that could be seen on the faces of its graduates.