Diversified Personnel Services (DPS), the staffing division of Opportunities, Inc. headquartered in Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin, continues to build on its partnership with regional correctional facilities to train and employ a growing number of work release candidates.
In 2016, Opportunities Inc. trained and employed 282 inmates from six facilities extending from Milwaukee west to Madison. DPS is the employer of record and most of the work release candidates initially work at Opportunities Inc.’s in-house co-manufacturing business, where they can acquire skills in production processes, quality control, team leadership and other supervisory roles, forklift operation and janitorial services. Other individuals work at other DPS customer sites.
One correctional center has integrated the Opportunities, Inc. work component into its Preparation for Success training, which focuses on ethics in the workplace, soft skills, mock interviews, owning mistakes and resume building.
The work release training period at Opportunities, Inc. is typically six months to one year, and DPS provides daily transportation while other staff within Opportunities, Inc. provide on-the-job training and coaching. When the work release period ends, DPS helps many candidates find other employment through other staffing opportunities, including temp-to-hire assignments.
Going forward, Opportunities Inc. is seeking resources to increase its training services and offset some of their transportation costs. Meanwhile they are committed to investing in reentry candidates and promoting successful rehabilitation and self-sufficiency of this workforce.
Janet Van Liere
Member Services Coordinator
Alternative Staffing Alliance