New York

Sep 18, 2023   |  By Emily Montgomery

A New Chapter: Sha-Ken's Advocacy Leads to Landmark Legislation

Sha-Ken recently realized a dream he never imagined was possible: he helped pass New York state legislation that will positively impact people with justice-involvement like his. It’s been a journey for him to get to this point. Sha-Ken, who is from Brooklyn, first became involved with CEO several years ago ...

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Aug 17, 2023   |  By Buffalo Next

Buffalo Next: Uncovering talent in a tight job market

McClam was part of a recent Buffalo Niagara Partnership discussion about cultivating “hidden talent.” The speakers agreed that employers can find good people to hire, if they know where to look for them.

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Aug 03, 2023   |  By Crime Report

The Antidote to Street Crime​: Outsourcing, Employment, and the Recently Convicted

When I was a newly-minted Probation Officer in 1982 with the New York City Department of Probation in the Bronx, one of my first probationers was a middle-aged man who was convicted of Criminal Possession of a Firearm that he used to threaten his estranged wife with.

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Jul 12, 2023   |  By Decarceration Nation

Episode 142: Dr. Genevieve Rimer and Samra Haider - Center for Employment Opportunities

Joshua B. Hoe talks to Dr. Genevieve Rimer and Samra Haider about CEO's commitment to reimagining America's criminal justice system. Listen Now!

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Jun 22, 2023   |  By

Donations to the Center for Employment Opportunities Support People Returning from Prison

Everyone has the potential to build a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities. Card rewards and other donations help the Center for Employment Opportunities give more people that chance.

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Apr 29, 2023   |  By New York Times

The Unemployment Gap Between Black and White New Yorkers Is Widening

The gulf between Black and white unemployment rates in New York City is now the widest it has been this century, exceeding even the largest gap during the Great Recession, according to a new report.

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Apr 27, 2023   |  By NYN Media

Opinion: Background checks and blanket hiring exclusions don’t reduce risk – they limit opportunities

Hiring restrictions, including background checks, prevent qualified job applicants from securing employment. For a work-obsessed nation in the midst of a labor shortage, we still go to great lengths to prevent people with past criminal convictions who want to work from accessing a job.

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Apr 03, 2023   |  By Simone Price

The Power of Reentry: Returning Strong

At every turn, people returning to their communities after incarceration are told to be realistic, to do all they can, to be prepared for disappointment, and to set minimal expectations. But what if we could replace these lowered expectations with the equity and opportunity everyone should have access to? What ...

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Mar 15, 2023   |  By AMNY

Activists vow to protect bail reform and close Rikers Island at Manhattan rally

On the last day of Black History Month, around 40 protestors gathered outside Governor Kathy Hochul’s Manhattan office, demanding the governor lay off her proposed bail reform rollback. Simultaneously, they also called for the permanent closure of Rikers Island.

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Feb 28, 2023   |  By Chris Watler

Black Resilience

Black History Month is a time to honor and celebrate Black resilience. Resilience is generally defined as “the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties.” This definition seems lacking. It does not fully encompass what I mean by Black resilience. Black resilience is more than fortitude in the face ...

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Feb 27, 2023   |  By The Tennessean

Inclusive hiring: New LinkedIn partnership helps job seekers with criminal backgrounds

Genevieve Rimer's journey from incarceration to becoming a college-educated social worker illustrates that there is life after prison. And thanks to a new digital educational program that she’s leading at LinkedIn, Rimer hopes to prepare thousands of Americans with felony convictions for employment, a major step toward new opportunities and ...

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Feb 03, 2023   |  By Dr. Genevieve Rimer

Why I Teamed Up with LinkedIn to Create a Resource for Job-Seekers with a Criminal Record

Going to court while incarcerated is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences; you lie awake throughout the night because the anxiety of the unknown permeates your thoughts. Early in the morning, while the rest of the world is fast asleep, you hear your name through the loud intercom, and the ...

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Jan 18, 2023   |  By Metro Atlanta CEO

Truist Foundation Awards Center for Employment Opportunities $1M

Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), the nation’s largest provider of comprehensive employment services to people returning from jail or prison, has received a $1 million grant from Truist Foundation.

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Jan 13, 2023   |  By Emily Montgomery

With reentry support like SNAP benefits, Rubin builds a “solid foundation”

Rubin moved to Albany, NY, from Brooklyn with his mother in 1985. He says he loves the seasons of upstate New York and he is grateful to be close to other family members, such as nieces and nephews he has watched grow up. "It's a beautiful feeling," he said. "I ...

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Jan 11, 2023   |  By Fund For Shared Insight

Researchers Partner with CEO’s Participant Advisory Council to Learn How to Improve Feedback

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides employment services and other supports to individuals who have recently returned home from incarceration. CEO believes that organizations that listen to their participants and incorporate their voices into program decisions are better able to provide accessible and effective services.

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Jan 11, 2023   |  By Sam Schaeffer

Meet Chris Watler, CEO's New Executive Vice President

I am thrilled to announce that Christopher Watler has been appointed to the newly created position of Executive Vice President (EVP) of CEO. This promotion is a recognition of Chris's leadership at CEO for over six years, along with some new responsibilities added to his portfolio.

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Jan 03, 2023   |  By Minority Reporter

This Winter the City Partners with RTS to Help with Snow Removal

Mayor Malik D. Evans recently said that a first-of-its-kind snow-removal partnership with Regional Transit Service (RTS) and Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), which will clear snow from 85 prioritized bus stop and shelter locations in the city of Rochester.

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Dec 27, 2022   |  By

RTS and Center for Employment Opportunities partner for snow removal intiative

Mayor Evans announced a snow removal partnership between Regional Transit Service (RTS) and the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO).

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Dec 22, 2022   |  By AXIOS

Nonprofits fill void in training people of color

Nonprofits are working to prepare young people of color, those formerly incarcerated and tribal college students for career growth, especially in fields where they remain underrepresented.

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Dec 21, 2022

CEO’s Impact! 2022: What We Did Together

What an incredible year it’s been at the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)! We are so grateful for your support. Check out CEO’s Impact! 2022 to learn more about what we achieved together this year: Connected 6700 people to paid employment opportunities. In April, CEO expanded into Pontiac, Michigan, and ...

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Nov 18, 2022   |  By Alex Mitchell

Stacey channels his voice and passion into advocacy work

Stacey’s passion is spreading awareness and faith through music. He finds joy in expressing himself by laying lyrical gospel rap down over hip-hop classics. But his music is not the only thing he’s devoted to. Stacey is an advocacy fellow for the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). He says this ...

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Nov 17, 2022

Google Offers Digital Skills Training to Thousands of Formerly Incarcerated Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Participants

CEO has integrated Grow With Google initiative into job readiness training to create economic mobility for participants in 31 cities across the country

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Oct 24, 2022   |  By Emily Montgomery

Will you be an advocate for inclusive hiring at your workplace?

Inclusive hiring helps maximize access to talent for employers while ensuring that past convictions do not prevent qualified people from joining the workforce. It is easy to feel powerless with the constant stream of bad news in the world. However, a simple and meaningful way to make positive change in ...

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Oct 16, 2022   |  By Minority Reporter

More Than 3,000 Residents in Workforce Development Services Engaged Through Community Partnerships

The City of Rochester has selected nine partners in the local human-services sector to engage more than 3,000 residents in workforce development programming.

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Oct 03, 2022   |  By City and State NY

City & State 2022 Nonprofit Power 100

Nonprofit organizations play an invaluable and yet overlooked role in New York. These organizations, with rare exceptions, are led by idealistic executives who toil day after day to make New York a better place.

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Sep 30, 2022   |  By City of Rochester

Mayor Evans Announces Partnerships for Workforce Development Services

Mayor Malik D. Evans announced today that the City has selected nine partners in the local human-services sector to engage more than 3,000 residents in workforce development programming.

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Sep 29, 2022   |  By Samra Haider

Making time for leadership

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) recently held its September Leadership Retreat. Over 140 leaders from CEO’s 12 states and 30 offices converged on lower Manhattan in New York City. It was the first time we had all been together since before the pandemic. Over three days we celebrated, learned ...

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Sep 14, 2022   |  By Spectrum News 1

Capital Region career fair helps formerly incarcerated individuals get on track

The Capital Region ReEntry Resource and Empowerment Fair isn’t a typical career fair. It's a fair and second chance for those in the criminal justice system.

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Aug 03, 2022   |  By Samra Haider and Mike Hellstrom

Preventing reimprisonment of formerly incarcerated individuals starts with higher-paying jobs

First posted on NYN Media on August 3, 2022. Image credit: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

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Aug 03, 2022   |  By NYN Media

Preventing reimprisonment of formerly incarcerated individuals starts with higher-paying jobs

The city should work with unions and re-entry providers to create work opportunities that facilitate and track long-term success.

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Jul 07, 2022   |  By The New York TImes

New York Times: For People Just Leaving Prison, a Novel Kind of Support: Cash

Joining a raft of initiatives aimed at helping the formerly incarcerated, a program gives money to defray expenses they face, including court fines and rent.

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Apr 14, 2022   |  By Derick Bowers (via The Lurie Daniel Favors Show on SiriusXM)

CEO's Derick Bowers on the Lurie Daniel Favors Show

The Center for Employment Opportunities' Director of Social Enterprise Derick Bowers joins activist, attorney, and author Lurie Daniel Favors on SiriusXM to discuss the Returning Citizens Stimulus.

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Apr 05, 2022

CEO Statement on Committee Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022

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Feb 23, 2022   |  By Roland Martin Unfiltered

How the Returning Citizen Stimulus and CEO Help the Formerly Incarcerated

CEO's Director of Social Enterprise Derick Bowers appeared on Roland Martin Unfiltered to discuss the Returning Citizen Stimulus and CEO's program model. (Clip begins at 1:21:43)

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Jan 21, 2022   |  By Christopher Watler (via

Employers Must Rethink How They Treat Talent With Criminal Record

Imagine what it is like to look for work with a past felony conviction. Every time you are applying for a job, the burden of your conviction weighs on you.

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Jan 21, 2022   |  By Christopher Watler

Employers must rethink how they treat talent with criminal record

This article was originally published on HR.comImagine what it is like to look for work with a past felony conviction. Every time you are applying for a job, the burden of your conviction weighs on you. You worry about having to explain your conviction to a hiring manager -- a ...

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Jan 13, 2022   |  By Legal Action Center

CEO Profile: A conversation with Chris Watler

This profile was originally published by the Legal Action CenterQ+A with Christopher Watler, Chief External Affairs Officer at CEO Can you describe CEO's work in supporting people directly impacted by the criminal legal system? CEO is the largest provider of transitional job opportunities for people returning to the community from ...

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Dec 20, 2021

REVOKED: Just When Things Were Getting Better, I Lost My SNAP Benefits

Jefferson was only 17 years old when he left Rikers Island correctional facility. Upon his release, he lived in a homeless shelter with his children, a situation that lasted for nearly six months. Jefferson’s cousin, an independent contractor, would hire him for construction work whenever there were openings on his ...

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Nov 15, 2021   |  By Sam Schaeffer and Ivonne Garcia

How $24M in Cash Grants Provided a Lifeline for Returning Citizens During Pandemic

Photo by Elentir via Flickr

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Oct 19, 2021   |  By Sam Schaeffer

Meet Samra Haider, CEO's New President

We are pleased to announce that Samra Haider has been promoted to the newly created position of President at CEO. This promotion is a recognition of the leadership that Samra has displayed for many years, stewarding the organization through two strategic plans and growth into 12 states across the country ...

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Sep 29, 2021   |  By MDRC

Innovative Cash Transfer Program Helped 10,000 Former Prisoners Meet Essential Expenses During Pandemic, Improving Their Feelings of Financial Stability

Nonprofit research organization MDRC released a new study today showing that the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) successfully implemented an ambitious cash transfer program, the Returning Citizens Stimulus, during the pandemic.

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Sep 23, 2021

$24 Million Returning Citizens Stimulus from Center for Employment Opportunities Benefits Thousands Released From Prisons and Jails During COVID-19

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Sep 20, 2021   |  By Eric Borsuk

I Had Patience, But More Importantly, I Had a Game Plan to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

Ever since he was young, Terrance had always considered himself a business-savvy individual. Hoping to one day open his own customizable t-shirt shop, he set out to educate himself on how to run a small business. While incarcerated in upstate New York, Terrance enrolled in college courses, majoring in Entrepreneurship ...

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Aug 21, 2021   |  By Eric Borsuk

Inspired by a Commitment to Community and Centering Impacted Voices

“A jail is a lockdown, but prison is a community,” says Charles, citing the work of famed prison reform advocate, penologist, and longtime warden of Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Lewis E. Lawes. Over the 40 years of his incarceration, Sing Sing was just one of the many institutions where Charles ...

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Jul 08, 2021   |  By Yamirca Vazquez on Gotham Gazette

Opinion: Key Fixes for New York’s Broken Parole System Await the Governor’s Signature

It wasn’t the eight months of military-style, intense shock incarceration that finally broke me; it was my parole officer. After my incarceration at Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility for non-violent offenders in Brocton, New York, I quickly realized I was living in constant fear of reincarceration. My parole officer had ...

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Jul 02, 2021   |  By Yamirca Vazquez

Key Fixes for New York’s Broken Parole System Await the Governor’s Signature

Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office

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Jun 21, 2021   |  By Bloomberg

To Boost Hiring, New York Makes Case for a ‘Clean Slate’

For many Americans, criminal records stand as stubborn barriers to employment and housing. Several states are now advancing efforts to automatically seal and expunge those records.

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May 10, 2021

Fair Chance Conversations: The Economics of Inclusive Hiring with Jeff Korzenik

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Apr 29, 2021   |  By Crains New York Business

Google Partners with Nonprofits on Skills Training for Formerly Incarcerated People

Google will join New York-based groups The Ladies of Hope Ministries, Center for Employment Opportunities, Defy Ventures and The Fortune Society to help improve job prospects for people with criminal records, a group that's unemployed at 5x the national average.

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Apr 28, 2021

Benefits of Inclusive Hiring: Watch CEO’s Recent Corporate Roundtable

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Apr 27, 2021

Draxel Shares the Life-changing Impact of the CEO Program

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Apr 27, 2021

Jimmy Shares How the CEO Program Changed His Life

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Apr 26, 2021

Charandip’s Journey: From Incarceration to a Union Job

“Without CEO’s training and job search support, I would not have the union job I currently do. Last year, I was living in a shelter and now I have the security of a good job, my own place, and even savings!”

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Mar 17, 2021

Effectively Reaching Young Adult Job Seekers with Prior Justice Involvement

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Jan 19, 2021

#MLKDay Series 2021: Ayanna Teesdale

Ayanna TeesdaleDirector of Payroll CEO New York City

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Jan 19, 2021

#MLKDay Series 2021: Keito Gray

Keito GraySenior Manager, Bronx OperationsCEO New York City

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Jan 19, 2021

#MLKDay Series 2021: Wallace St. Clair

Wallace St. ClairSenior Site SupervisorCEO New York City

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Jan 07, 2021   |  By BronxNet

BronxNet Discusses CEO's Program for the Formerly Incarcerated

OPEN Host Daren Jaime sits with the Communications Manager at the Center for Employment Opportunities, Jovanni Ortiz discussing how the program is providing employment services for recently incarcerated individuals.

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Oct 28, 2020

Albany’s Center for Employment Opportunities Receives Support from Bank of America Grant

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Aug 27, 2020   |  By WROC

Putting Rochester First: Center for Employment Opportunities

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — News 8 is continuing a two month initiative with the United Way called Putting Rochester First where we put the spotlight on local organizations that need your help. Jessica Centeno from the Center of Employment Opportunities came into the studio to discuss how their organization is ...

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Feb 19, 2020   |  By FOX Rochester

United Way Wednesday: Center for Employment Opportunities

This week’s United Way Wednesday highlights the Center for Employment Opportunities in Rochester. Sarah Fletcher, site director, joined us to explain how the United Way is working with the center to provide people with tools needed to build a successful career and maintain financial stability.

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Feb 18, 2020   |  By WBAI

The Positive Mind Radio Show Interview on Mental Health

The Positive Mind Show on 99.5FM in New York City spoke with Christopher Watler, CEO’s Chief External Affairs Officer and Alexandra Poolt, CEO’s Manager of Supportive Services regarding the organization's mental health initiatives.

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Oct 30, 2019   |  By Bronxnet

CEO's Sr. Director Cynthia Brackett of Vocational Services on BronxNet Talks Bronx Open House & More

Senior Director Cynthia Brackett of Vocational Services for Center for Employment Opportunities (C.E.O.), joins Host Doctor Bob Lee on BronxNet for a look at their Bronx location, their work to provide employment, and their upcoming Bronx ribbon cutting.

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Jun 28, 2019

Rochester's New Office Open House a Success!

CEO Rochester hosted a successful new office opening event on June 27, 2019 to formally introduce the new space to the community! It was a packed event with guest speakers that included The Monroe County District Attorney, Sandra Doorley, Monroe County Public Defender Director, Tim Donaher, City Councilmember Willie Lightfoot ...

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