Our Back to Business Initiative

The greatest barrier for most older workers is the training they need to secure a job. While this is also true for older returning citizens, they face additional barriers, including social stigma around hiring ex-offenders, unstable housing, unreliable transportation, and the requirements of their probation or parole.

Post-release employment programs done right has a significant effect on decreasing rates of re-arrest. SSAI has brought together its 60 years of experience working with older adults and underserved groups to launch our Back to Business Initiative through our new organization, SSA Community Partners. Back to Business develops workforce training, placement, and support that successfully reintegrates participants into their communities. A representative example is our Back To Business DenverWorks program.

Back to Business DenverWorks

Our DenverWorks partnership is an employment training and placement program for older returning citizens that addresses the unique needs of this population to reduce recidivism and support a lasting re-entry into their community. The core strength of Back To Business is the combination of career training, job placement, and job preparation. By coordinating efforts with DenverWorks in all three areas, we are helping former offenders prepare for long-term success.

Career Training

Back to Business DenverWorks provides in-demand industry-recognized credentials to clients around skills needed to procure and maintain a job. These credentials address gaps in education and training for 21st-century career attainment.

Our wide-ranging Career Prep workshop includes training on developing an interest inventory, addressing hidden and open job markets, establishing personal selling points, interviewing, goal-setting, and overcoming fear and self-sabotage, along with other skills. Former offenders also receive help around specific coping skills for dealing with their re-integration.

Job Placement

Back To Business DenverWorks provides direct placement in jobs for clients, while also maintaining collaborative relationships with employers. Participants who complete our job seeker workshop are matched with an employment coach who provides individualized assistance, including resume preparation, e-mail setup, interview coaching, and community referrals for housing, healthcare, counseling, childcare, computer skills, food, and other support services.

Job Preparation Services

In addition to career training and job placement, Back To Business DenverWorks leverages services that help older returning citizens stay employed continuously. The resulting financial stability leads participants to housing stability, both keys to long-term success.

We also provide life skills training to encourage positive outcomes, including financial management, time management, conflict resolution, anger management, parenting, reconciliation, and interpersonal communication skills. When these life skills are strengthened, our clients’ success rates for keeping a job and becoming contributing members of society rise significantly. The Back To Business DenverWorks program includes a 12-month follow-up post-job placement to identify and address new client and employer needs and further ensure a lasting career.

To have people to believe in you and allow you to express yourself through something that you are passionate for is worth more than money itself.

Charles Brown, Back To Business DenverWorks Client