CEO Announces Expansion of Advanced Training Pathways

New Focus Areas Include Fiber Optic Technician, Heavy Equipment Operator, Solar Installer, Skilled Construction Trades, and More

CEO Media Contact:
Matt Sutton | [email protected] | (646) 951-4811

New York, NY – Coinciding with Second Chance Month, the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), the nation's largest reentry services provider, is excited to announce the expansion of its Advanced Training Pathways, designed to equip participants with the skills needed to access good quality, high-paying careers that have lower barriers to entry for people with a criminal record. With a mission focused on providing immediate employment and personalized job readiness services, CEO now offers a broader range of options to help people find the career that is right for them.

The expanded programming comes after several years of successfully helping train and place people in high-paying commercial driving (CDL) careers. For example, participants in Oakland had an average starting rate of $28.20/hr, New York City - $26.95, Los Angeles - $25.25, and Denver $23.75 following completion of their CDL. Considering overtime and additional incentives, many had an average starting salary of $50-70k/yr. Since 2022, CEO has enrolled over 300 people through this advanced pathway, with a 75% completion rate, and placed over 70% of CDL license holders into a commercial driving job. These participants are also three times more likely to be placed in permanent employment.

Recognizing the increased opportunity that has come with labor shortages in a variety of industries, CEO will offer a range of additional vetted pathways that meet the criteria of:

  • High growth over the next five years
  • Above-average wage
  • Relatively low prior conviction restrictions
  • Having a defined training pathway (less than one year in length) that leads to employment

Participants are eligible to enroll in one of the below pathways tailored to employer demand and job seekers' interests:

  1. Commercial Driver
  2. Heavy Equipment Operator
  3. Fiber Optic Technician
  4. Service Technician (Mechanic)
  5. Solar Installer
  6. Skilled Construction Trades
  7. Information Technology

“What we have already seen with our CDL pathway, is that it has given our participants the ability to dream bigger, pursue opportunities that were previously beyond their imagination, and build a sustainable future for themselves and their families,” said Dane Worthington, Director of Mobility Foundations at the Center for Employment Opportunities. “It is incredibly exciting to now be able to provide a range of options – that like CDL, provide high wages with low barriers to entry – for participants to find a career that will be fulfilling to them personally. And because it is something they are passionate about, we are confident it will further reduce recidivism and increase their success in the long run.”

Beyond the numbers, the program’s success can be seen in the transformation of CEO participants:

For the CDL program, CEO has recently enhanced its partnership with Freeworld, enabling participants to complete their initial CDL permit preparation through the online Freeworld platform. This collaboration underscores CEO's commitment to leveraging technology and partnerships to enhance accessibility and success for its participants.

CEO's work with unions through its Pathways 2 Apprenticeship partnership has also seen significant progress, with recent graduations in New York City and Buffalo.

CEO’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), the organization’s internal on-the-job apprenticeship program has also grown recently, with one of the apprenticeship tracks in California being registered as a certified apprenticeship by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and other certifications by state labor agencies being finalized in Colorado and other regions.

For more information on CEO's Advanced Training Opportunities, please visit the website: Advanced Training Pathways.


About the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides immediate, effective, and comprehensive employment services exclusively to people recently released from incarceration. CEO currently operates in 30 cities in 12 states and is dedicated to ensuring that justice-impacted people have opportunities and careers to achieve socioeconomic mobility. For more information, please visit: