Virtual job fair co-hosted by Indiana Department of Correction wins national award

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The Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry (HIRE), Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) and the Indiana Department of Workforce and Development (DWD) have been nationally recognized for a virtual job fair for incarcerated individuals.

On March 6, DWD accepted the William J. Harris Equal Opportunity Award at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA) 2019 Winter Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.

This award is bestowed upon a state demonstrating excellence and innovation in the area of equal opportunity.

NASWA honored DWD, HIRE and IDOC as the hosts to the online virtual job fair in the fall of 2018 for 132 offenders at five correctional facilities across the state.

Plainfield, Rockville, Wabash and Westville Correctional Facilities and the Correctional Industrial Facility participated in the event, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.

Six employers from throughout the state took part, including representatives from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

“IDOC and DWD took a strategy that would normally be difficult (an in-facility job fair) and used technology and relationships with Indiana businesses to market an underserved population. IDOC’s pipeline of strong and skilled workers will fill in the gaps Indiana employers have in their workforce. Our in-facility clients are walking out with viable certifications that employers are seeking. I’m excited to see what’s next!” Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry (HIRE) Director Carrie Heck said.

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