Last night, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish joined Cuyahoga County Corrections to congratulate the first cohort of graduates of the Comprehensive Reentry Services program. Students have completed more than 165 hours of classroom and hands-on training over the past nine weeks. They learned baseline kitchen, safety, preparation and cooking skills and earned a three-year Servsafe Food Handler certification through the National Restaurant Association.
“Too often, individuals who have paid their debt to society confront many obstacles to good jobs and quality education and training”, said County Executive Budish in a statement.
“It's exciting to see the progress of these individuals and the culinary program”, added Ken Mills, Cuyahoga County Director of Regional Corrections.
The voluntary program fosters pre- and post-release employment and job readiness for male adult individuals serving court sentences with the County jail and housed at the Euclid facility.
Euclid service providers are Towards Employment, Recovery Resources and Project Learn. Services to be provided pre-release at the Euclid facility include: employment assessment, individual success plan, career exploration, job readiness skills training, ABLE/GED classes, behavioral health/substance abuse counseling services, Thinking for a Change workshops, and culinary arts training.
To be eligible, inmates must be convicted as an adult and imprisoned under the municipal, county, Federal, or state law but have not been convicted of a sexual offense other than prostitution; and have enough time remaining on the sentence to complete the program.
Post release, previous offenders will continue to receive ongoing services as well as additional supportive services to help them successfully reenter the community and find employment.
“Their accomplishments demonstrate the potential impact of innovative and collaborative programming,” said Mills of the graduates and program.
Partly funded from the U.S. Department of Labor grant; Comprehensive Reentry Services is a collaborative partnership that includes Cuyahoga County Corrections, OhioMeansJobs|Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, and Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry and Edwin’s Leadership and Institute.