- Chester County Intermediate Unit
- Chester County Intermediate Unit
CCIU’s E3 Re-entry Program Empowers Individuals for Manufacturing Careers and Second Chances
In January 2023, the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) launched its E3 Re-entry Program (exit, enter, employ), a free program that provides those with prior justice system involvement with a direct pathway to entering the manufacturing industry.
To serve participants at all levels in the recovery process, the program offers pre-release classes held at the Chester County Prison for those who will soon exit the justice system and post-release classes for those who have recently exited the justice system. Students enrolled in the program take three primary courses – manufacturing, thinking for a change and business readiness – and are trained in the areas of job readiness, social skills, positive self-change and problem-solving. Upon completion of the program, students have the option to participate in a job fair, where they meet and interview with potential employers who are searching for the exact skills and training these students have acquired.
To date, a total of three classes of participants have completed and graduated from the CCIU’s E3 Re-entry Program. The most recent class to complete the program is the first pre-release class to graduate.
When asked about the program, Gerome Gray, Jr., a recent pre-release program graduate, said, “This program helped me gain confidence with interviewing. My favorite part about the program was learning more about manufacturing. I really enjoyed the math component as well.” He added, “This program is important because it helps you learn new skills and strategies related to work.”
Another pre-release program graduate emphasized the care that was shown to him and his classmates throughout the program. “I discovered how much the people who run this program care, and in my life I’ve come to realize the importance of being around people who care. Like-minded individuals are reluctant to learn unless you exhibit concern or interest. That is the impetus of why I would advocate for this program,” said Adrian Morales.
When asked what his future plans include, Morales said, “I plan to find a company with core values that coincide with mine. With the knowledge I acquired here and my 10 years of warehouse experience, I feel that my future is bright!”
Each graduate of the pre-release program demonstrated a commitment to working hard and making a positive change. “The residents that completed this program seem grateful that they were given the opportunity to better themselves and their situation during their incarceration. The true purpose of the Chester County Prison Correctional Center is to provide programs and resources to prepare individuals for re-entry. This program allows the students to find confidence within themselves and realize that their current situation does not define them or their future success,” said Melissa MacVaugh, assistant manager at the Chester County Correctional Center.
Funding for the E3 Re-entry Program comes from an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant awarded by Chester County Government. County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline said, “The E3 Re-entry Program is important to Chester County on many levels, from individuals being released from incarceration who value employment opportunities, to the manufacturing employers seeking skilled, trained workers. We thank the Chester County companies that are supporting the E3 program, and we especially thank the CCIU for spearheading E3 and creating the comprehensive training program that provides job readiness skills.”
The CCIU’s E3 Re-entry Program is committed to providing its students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their future careers. For upcoming program cohorts, the CCIU will work with the county justice system and community organizations for referrals. For more information about the E3 Re-entry Program for pre- and post-release individuals, please contact Jill Stoltzfus at JillS@cciu.org.