Statement From The Center For Employment Opportunities On The American Jobs Plan

For Immediate Release: April 1st, 2021

Contact: [email protected]


New York, NY - Sam Schaeffer, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), issued the following statement in response to the American Jobs Plan fact sheet in which President Joe Biden calls on Congress “to invest in job training for formerly incarcerated individuals and justice-involved youth and in improving public safety,” as well as to tackle unemployment via a new subsidized jobs program:

“CEO thanks President Biden for a groundbreaking proposal that recognizes the tremendous workforce potential of justice-impacted individuals. Each year, more than 600,000 individuals return home from incarceration in need of a job. Currently there is no comprehensive federal workforce program to support paid work experience and skills training targeted to the needs of people who have come home from incarceration. We are excited to work with Congress on the American Jobs Plan to grow employment training across the United States while addressing the deep racial disparities and harm brought about by incarceration. Justice-impacted Americans served their communities throughout the pandemic, and they will be critical to building our nation’s infrastructure.”

The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world with 431 sentenced individuals per 100,000 residents in state and federal prisons. The imprisonment rate for black men is 5.8 times that of white men. Even as federal and state governments work to reduce incarceration, more than 70 million Americans have a criminal record and are largely shut out of the workforce system. With every $1 billion invested, 125,000 justice-impacted Americans could have access to temporary, subsidized employment and training.


CEO is the country’s largest reentry employment organization, providing daily work opportunities and daily pay to justice-involved individuals facing the highest barriers to employment in 30 cities across 11 states. To learn more about CEO’s COVID-19 response, visit our website at