Restored citizens who are preparing for their re-entrance into society after incarceration are faced with a very challenging time. For those whose primary focus is becoming a law-abiding citizen, they often find after release that society is not always so forgiving. Locating gainful employment—a job that offers them respectable pay and benefits and the opportunity for advancement—is often just out of their reach even when they have the skills to match the position. To have someone who can open a door for them—vouch for their abilities as well as their commitment to a new chapter in their lives—would make all the difference.
Available jobs are certainly out there. Today’s manufacturing industry faces an acute shortage of skilled, entry-level employees and these restored citizens could help to ease that problem by filling some of those positions. Recognizing the needs of both manufacturers and restored citizens, the Training, Assessment and Placement Project (TAPP) was developed to provide a solution by matching restored citizens with those manufacturers who want to give them the opportunity to begin a new chapter in their lives.
TAPP is the brainchild of Vickie Miller, a former Vocational Educator with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) and currently an Employee Relations Consultant and owner of VMConsulting. Miller immediately gained the assistance of ODRC to provide her with the ability to locate the right restored citizens for job placement. The final piece—a partnership with OH!Manufacturing—established the avenue the project needed to locate both immediately available manufacturing positions as well as employers who want to help these individuals embark on a fresh start.In the short eight months since its inception in August 2015, TAPP has seen success with its placement of six restored citizens—four of whom are veterans—into positions with Central Ohio manufacturers. Their employers report that they are impressed with their level of work ethic and desire to be positive role models and employees. One of those placed has already been selected to take on a newly created position within the company. His current employer, on a recent survey, gave the TAPP project a 100% evaluation score.
“The TAPP program has provided us with a pipeline of vetted candidates that are motivated, hardworking, and responsible,” said Brandon Moskal, HR Generalist at Engineered Profiles LLC. “They are making the most of their second chance and we are seeing the benefits. TAPP candidates have shown the ability to catch on quickly, display strong work ethic, and maintain excellent attendance. We’re excited to continue our relationship with the program.”
As a next step in its continued growth, TAPP has recently expanded its assistance to include all military veterans, whether or not they have been formerly incarcerated, through a partnership with the Military Veterans Resource Center. According to Miller, “TAPP continues to grow with the increased needs of entry level and skilled employees.”