WSC Re-Entry Program participant Chris is starting a new career in construction
After serving 28 years in prison, Chris is rebuilding his life and starting his dream career in construction, thanks to help from the Vernon Central WorkSource Center (WSC).

Chris was recently paroled and had trouble finding work due to his criminal background. He heard about an employment program for the re-entry population offered at Los Angeles Trade Tech College (LATTC) through the Vernon Central WorkSource Center, which is run by EWDD partner Coalition for Responsible Community Development.

Through the program, Chris also received support from Friends Outside Los Angeles County, a group that specializes in social services for the previously incarcerated and their families. Chris participated in a 20-hour workshop known as “Parole to Payroll,” which consists of career assessment, job seeking, job retention and supportive services. Chris’ dream was to pursue a career as a construction worker for a union that would offer him great compensation and benefits.

Following the workshop, Chris was offered an opportunity to enroll in an LATTC apprenticeship program geared for individuals who were previously incarcerated. The apprenticeship program is part of a partnership between LATTC and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

After a long journey, Chris graduated from the program and was accepted to the Local 300 Carpenters/Construction Union with full time employment. The Vernon Central WSC and Friends Outside Los Angeles County also provided Chris with work boots, transportation tokens and assistance with paying union dues.

Chris said he is very thankful for the opportunity to begin a new life with a good paying career. He said he feels blessed by the services provided.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES Newsletter from the week of 8/28/2017. Read this issue and more.