Overcoming Obstacles With Windows to Work

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Robert joined Windows to Work before he was released from his 15-year prison sentence. Although he entered the program with a positive attitude, he was nervous about his release. He knew there would be barriers to overcome including finding employment with no recent work history.

During his 12 weeks of the Department of Corrections-supported Windows to Work program, Robert was active in creating his release plan. The program prepared him to reenter the workforce by helping him build a resume based on his work history before prison and the institutional jobs he held.

After he was released, Robert found a temporary living placement (TLP) through the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) where he could live for 90 days. With housing taken care of, Robert focused on his job search. He connected with the WorkSmart Network for access to WIOA programming for additional skill training and career services. Robert also attended Job Club, a club designed specifically for Windows to Work participants. The club offered him job leads, connections to community resources, and assistance with job applications and barriers to employment.

Six weeks after release, Robert was hired by a multi-million dollar manufacturing company in Madison. With a steady income, he began searching for permanent housing. But his criminal history and lack of housing references quickly became an obstacle. Thankfully, Robert found a connection through his Circle of Support to a landlord who would give him a chance.

A year later, he married his long time girlfriend, continued with his employment, and obtained permission to move to another state, which was part of his long-term plan.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.