PAROLEE POWER Works! is working!!! Print E-mail

Richard_and_Martinez_webEmployment is a critical factor in ending the cycle of poverty, crime, and incarceration. This particularly relevant to Oakland, where 47% of Alameda County parolees reside and the majority is under or unemployed.  Many parolees do not have the skills needed to sustain employment, making long-term reintegration and desistance from crime difficult. However, successful reintegration, which includes stable employment, positively impacts both a parolee's own financial stability and the economic health and public safety of the surrounding community.  PAROLEE POWER Works! (PPW!), established in February 2010, addresses the employment and reintegration needs of paroled adults in Alameda County.  This computer literacy and volunteer program was implemented in collaboration with a community advisory board of 10 parolees who believed that developing computer skills, while contributing positively to their communities through regular volunteering were essential to their employment and reintegration success. 

Ricardo Ale JuanSince its inception, PPW! has provided computer skills and monthly volunteer opportunities to 72 paroled men and men. Of these, 24 (25%) completed the 8-week course and 36 (50%) attended at least 4 sessions. For those who completed the course, 6 (25%) found employment as a result of participating in PPW!  The curriculum, which is co-taught by a parolee, includes: 1) keyboard and mouse practice; 2) training in email, Internet searching, on-line job applications, Microsoft Word, and resume and cover letter preparation; 3) individual employment counseling; 4) a financial literacy class taught by financial educators from Operation HOPE; and 5) registration in Oakland Private Industry Council's (Oakland PIC) vocational training programs.  Additionally, each month PPW! volunteers donate their time to one of TGI's volunteer partners, Alameda County Food Bank, Berkeley Shore Line Clean-Up, or Save the Bay.

On January 26, 2011, TGI began its 5th PPW! course, which based on feedback from prior program participants, expanded from a series of eight 2-hour classes to a 10-week program that includes 30 hours of computer training. Additionally, thanks to TGI's "Loved Ones" - our financial contributors - we created a fantastic color manual to go with the course.  The students love it!  The Winter 2011 PPW!  course is TGI's biggest ever with 11 students!  We are half-way through the course and they are all still coming to (and loving) the class! We are thrilled to have these fantastic and motivated students on the PPW! Team!  

C_PPW_Winter_2011_Students_webSome the PPW! Winter 2011 Super-Star Students!

Finally, TGI is especially grateful for Carlos Colin, the course's fabulous Teaching Assistant!  Carlos is SUPER-SMART and wonderful with the students.  Carlos, himself a parolee, learned about TGI from the Alameda County Parole Department's weekly PACT meetings.  He gave us a call and, VIOLA! - a Teaching Assistant Extraoridinaire was born!  Thank you, Carlos. The PPW! Winter 2011 course is a smashing success because you are a part of it!

Carlos_1_webCarlos Colin, PPW! Teaching Assitant Extraoridinaire!