Denver nonprofits host job workshop for formerly incarcerated jobseekers

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Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 28, 2022

DENVER – Three local nonprofits sponsored a two-day employment training workshop to help formerly incarcerated Coloradans who are re-entering society and searching for jobs.

“This is the beginning of a new project that we're doing. It's a collaboration with two other nonprofits in town,” Andy Magel, the executive director of Mile High Workshop, a nonprofit job training program, told Denver7 Tuesday.

Mile High Workshop, the Community Outreach Service Center, and Center for the Development of Economic Equity, or “ESquared,” sponsored the workshop.

“We're hooking them up with some tech skills and a computer, while they're here with us. They're learning some basic warehouse skills, including getting their forklift certification,” Magel said.

The participants also received a $100 stipend.

“You can't expect someone to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, if they don't even have the boot or the straps,” ESquared Chief Operating Officer Toi Massey said.

Massey said there are few requirements for workshop participation.

“I think the biggest requirement is a desire to change, a desire to come back into the community as a contributor – as a positive contributor,” Massey said.

After two days of digital literacy and forklift trainings, the workshop ends with job interviews and placement.

“I just did 26 years in prison,” said Alan Sudduth. “It's been interesting. I got laid off my job on Juneteenth but I came down here for opportunities.”

Sudduth earned his forklift certification and has job interview scheduled for later in the week.

“They're great at connecting all the resources available,” Joshua Jones, workshop participant said.

Joshua Jones is hoping the workshop brings him one step closer to a job in computer programming.

“By giving you a computer and giving you online access, it grants you instantaneous access to everything,” Jones said.

Jones said anyone can be integrated back into the workforce, all they need is a chance and resources.