NBA Foundation Teams up with the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) to Expand Job Training in the Southern Region

CEO Media Contact:

Megan Giovannetti | [email protected] | 310.905.7811

Partnership Will Create Opportunities To Earn Commercial Drivers Licenses, IT Certificates and other Critical Credentials for Careers

Atlanta, GA - August 9, 2023 - Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is proud to announce a partnership with the NBA Foundation that will help justice-impacted job seekers access employment and career mobility across the South. 

As a direct result of this partnership, people leaving incarceration in Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Charlotte will be able to access credentialed employment training, paving the way to earn Commercial Driver Licenses, IT Support certifications, and other crucial career-building credentials.

This initiative is part of the NBA Foundation's commitment to promoting access to opportunities for Black youth and communities. Systematic barriers limit the life opportunities available to justice-impacted Black young people and adults. In the United States a staggering 1 in 3 Black men can expect to be incarcerated during their lifetime, compared to 1 in 17 white men, leaving their potential unrealized and perpetuating a cycle of inequity. For all workers, particularly those returning from incarceration, racism, low wages, poverty, and lack of access to affordable housing are limiting factors in gaining employment and creating career pathways.

We are grateful for the NBA foundation's support to help justice-impacted talent across the South to achieve economic mobility. This collaboration will positively impact the lives of many hard-working young adults working to create a bright future for themselves." Patience Lewis-Walker, Deputy Executive Director of the Southern Region, Center for Employment Opportunities. "

By shedding light on these barriers, the NBA Foundation aims to foster crucial discussions surrounding the importance of adequately supporting these individuals to unlock untapped talent, benefiting local, regional, and national economies and ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and thriving workforce.

“Ensuring that citizens returning home from incarceration are equipped for success is not only a critical justice issue, it is an economic imperative,” said Greg Taylor, Executive Director of the NBA Foundation. “Making a mistake should not be determinative of your entire future. The NBA Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Center for Employment Opportunities to help provide not just a second chance but an opportunity to make our communities whole.”

The generous support of the NBA Foundation will help CEO's mission have an impact in the Southern region. Specifically, CEO will:

  • Enhance the quality and scope of its training programs to provide young adults with essential skills for today's job market.
  • Foster long-term economic mobility for young Black community members by equipping them with the necessary tools and support to overcome employment barriers related to past convictions.
  • Expand the CEO's reach and impact in the southern region by connecting with more local communities and providing essential resources to participants at each site.

For more information about Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) visit and or contact [email protected]

To learn more about the NBA Foundation and its commitment to empowering communities, visit


About 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 31 cities and is dedicated to ensuring that justice-impacted job seekers have opportunities to achieve social and economic mobility. For more information, please visit

About NBA Foundation

Created in August 2020, the NBA Foundation is the league’s first-ever charitable foundation dedicated to driving economic opportunity for Black youth. The Foundation invests in local and national organizations that promote school-to-career and workforce development opportunities. For more information visit