OWDS Partnership Training: Career and Workforce Development and Implementation
Carter, Francina, Corrections Today
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC), in collaboration with the National Career Development Association, provides state and local correctional agencies and their partners with Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) Partnership Training. OWDS is intensive, competency-based training for correctional staff involved in offender employment. The training uses blended learning to develop participants' abilities in 12 competencies (see Table 1) that provide them with the skills needed to assist offenders with career planning, job placement, job retention and career advancement.
Table 1. Twelve Competencies of Offender Workforce Development Specialty Training Career Theory Knowledge of four career theories that specialists may use ID assist offenders with job choice, career planning and transition facilitation Skills Communication skills--such as attending, listening, reflecting, encouraging and questioning--that contribute to the creation of an environment that efficiently and effectively assists offenders with job placement and career planning Diversity Knowledge of the identifiable differences between and among members of various groups that may affect an individual's career choices Assessment Knowledge of various assessment tools, techniques, applications and skills needed to administer and interpret self-help instruments for use with offenders Instruction and Croup Facilitation Skills for providing group instruction and facilitation of activities and interactive exercises Barriers Knowledge of barriers that offenders encounter upon transition to the community, and skills to identify ways to remove and/or minimize those barriers Transition and Interventions Knowledge and development of interventions, including the development of goals and action plans that offenders may use as they transition to full- or part-time employment Retention Knowledge of the importance of job retention as a primary factor in reduced recidivism, identification of interventions that have the potential to improve offender job retention and the ability to teach these skills to offenders Ethics Knowing and abiding by the Global Career Development Facilitator Code of Ethics, including recognizing appropriate role boundaries related to training and scope of practice Job Seeking and Employ ability Knowledge of access to labor market information, pre-employment preparation, job search skills and job retention strategies, in addition to how 1o teach these skills to offenders Career Information and Technology Knowledge of and ability to locate occupational and educational information available in print and on the Internet, and how to apply this information to assist offenders with job placement and career planning Designing and Implementing Training Knowledge of the basic and Workforce Development Services principles of program planning and implementation, including evaluation, promotion and public relations, and the skills to apply this knowledge to the development and delivery of broad-based programs for offender populations and the training of professionals in career development
OWDS is a 160-hour training program--consisting of 80 hours of classroom instruction offered in two 40-hour sessions--delivered approximately three months apart. …