WPTI Public Calendar | 3-Day Course

Getting the RAP Down 2019: Employment Strategies for Job Seekers with Criminal Histories


April 02, 2019, Tuesday


9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

This is a three-day training course taking place on April 2, 3, and 4, 2019. Each session is from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.


Workforce Professionals Training Institute
11 Park Place
New York, New York 10007

Registration Fee

Standard Fee: $305


Each registrant must attend all three sessions.

Program Description

The Challenge

Nearly one-third of the adult working age population in the United States has a criminal record.  America contains roughly the same number people with criminal records as it does four-year college graduates.  New York State alone maintains criminal histories on over 7 million individuals. In short, many job seekers must contend with the stigma and restrictions of a criminal record.

Quality employment is the single most important factor in preventing recidivism, but workforce development practitioners often struggle to find jobs for reentrants.  The challenges are immense.  These job seekers face numerous barriers to employment: low education and skill levels; physical and mental health barriers; insecure housing and support systems; probation and parole restrictions; and employer resistance to hiring – just to name a few.

The Solution

WPTI’s Getting the RAP Down provides a solid foundation of skills and tools for workforce practitioners who serve job seekers with a criminal history.  Over the course of three full days, we will cover the legal protection available to reentrants, provide nuts-and-bolts tools to help reentrants prepare for the job search, and help you identify employers most likely to hire those with a criminal record.

Day 1: Legal & Reentry Issues that Impact the Job Search

This session introduces internal and external barriers faced by people with criminal records – and those who help them – during the job search process. We will cover the legal protections available to reentrants when looking for a job, the information employers can find out about a criminal history, and how to deal with criminal background checks.  You will also learn concrete strategies to motivate and sustain job seekers throughout what can be a long and often demoralizing process.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand legal protections for job seekers who have criminal records
  • Help job seekers understand what employers can see about their criminal histories, and what protections against discrimination they may have
  • Apply Motivational Interviewing techniques to overcome behavioral issues that may impact ability to search for and maintain a job
  • Address common external challenges that hold reentrants back from obtaining employment

Day 2: Job Search Preparation with a Twist: Resumes, Applications & Interviews for Reentrants

Practitioners struggle to write resumes for job seekers who have been in the criminal justice system, especially those with limited or erratic work experience and skill sets. We will cover key insights into what attracts employers to an applicant, how to play up strengths and experiences developed in institutional settings, answering the dreaded “Have you ever been convicted?” question on an application or interview, and overcoming resume and interviewing pitfalls.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the three key characteristics employers look for from job applicants, regardless of the position
  • Minimize the impact of incarceration or unemployment on the resume
  • Use a 4 step process to vastly improve the chances an applicant will get through the interview
  • Understand the right – and wrong – ways to answer the criminal history question on an application
  • Structure the job search process to sustain engagement over weeks and months

Day 3: Getting Them Hired: Sealing the Deal with Employers

Some employers are more willing than others to hire applicants with criminal histories. In this session, we’ll cover what the research tells us is the best way to approach employers and identify the types of employers that job developers and job seekers should be targeting.  A panel of employers and experienced job developers will share their perspectives and answer questions.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Prioritize the types of employers to which you should be sending your job seekers
  • Understand the impact of hiring incentives for employers
  • How to balance employer concerns over Fair Hiring vs. Negligent Hiring
  • Consider alternate approaches to get job seekers into the workforce
  • Utilize multiple approaches to find employers most open to hiring
  • Create a compelling marketing approach that will catch the attention of employers

Intended Audience

Staff who work directly with job seekers with criminal histories


Dan Salemson, WPTI Training & Projects Consultant

Interested in registering a group?

If you would like to register a group to participate in this training, please contact Saki Mori at WPTI offers training seat packages with discounted rates for 10, 20, and 40 seats that can be used for one training or across multiple training sessions. The training seat bundles do not expire and can be used across calendar and fiscal years.


Registration / Cancellation Policy

No seat in any fee based training program can be confirmed with out payment or proof of payment/check request form. As a convenience to our customers, we will confirm an applicant for a training program if they provide an acceptable proof of payment/check request form. For example, a copy of a check request form, a copy of a purchase order or a copy of the actual check. When we receive this paperwork, we will email a confirmation to the registrant and supervisor address provided that your seat has been saved.

For any reason that you may need to cancel your registration

1) You must provide notice of cancellation 72 hours prior to the day of the training program to receive full credit toward a future WPTI training program. No refunds will be given.
2) If advance notice was not given that you will not be attending the training program for which you are registered, we regret that we cannot provide credit nor a refund.