Texas Prison Helps Women Seek Employment Before Re-Entry

As incarcerated women prepare for their upcoming release, they are often overwhelmed with emotions. Excitement, fear, doubt and curiosity overwhelm them as they prepare for their release from the judicial system. Students, some who have been incarcerated for decades, are often disconnected from the latest technology, societal norms and professional standards. To help incarcerated women successfully transition back into society, correctional facilities often offer an educational program for the residents to complete before re-entry.  

One of the most important components of a successful correctional educational program is the ability to offer hope and opportunity for individuals to be successful upon their release into the workforce. According to recent studies, individuals who participate in correctional educational programs are 43% less likely to return to prison upon release.  

Together, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the Windham School District established the STRIVE program to help women develop the technical skills, soft skills and emotional trauma healing needed for a successful transition back to society. Training materials focus on job interviews, public speaking, professional self-care, professional attire and mock professionalism practices.

Within the STRIVE program, individuals have the opportunity to earn an industry certification, including the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification hosted on the iCEV Testing Platform. The certification validates these learners have the knowledge and skills to efficiently think critically and work with others upon re-entering the workforce. Since inception of the STRIVE program, more than 210 industry certifications have been earned.  

The STRIVE program is a valuable tool in helping women of all backgrounds and interests succeed outside of the facility. By earning the Southwest Airlines Professional Communications Certification and completing the STRIVE program, women are taking a proactive step in their futures and setting themselves up for success in terms of career readiness and professional skills.