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CEO Academy to help former inmates

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People who have been incarcerated often have a hard time finding work when released. Some will now have the opportunity to train for certification in trades like plumbing, electrical work and refrigeration mechanics.

Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Academy, which helps men and woman out of prison land jobs and adjust to clean living, is now taking its program a step further. It is now offering night and weekend classes designed to prepare former inmates for trade schools at Bronx Community College and elsewhere. CEO Academy opened a new training center on Monday, November 16 at 975 Kelly Street. The year-old organization seeks to lower crime rates through employment for ex-cons.

“The goal of our training center is to improve reading and math scores while preparing these folks for trade schools,” CEO Academy director Darryl Rogers said. “They get training, guidance counseling and 50 hours of math and reading content instruction.”

The Kelly Street center boasts a computer lab and an instruction room designed to resemble a vessel headed out to sea.

“We want the people we’re training to realize that there is no going back,” Center for Employment Opportunities CEO Mindy Tarlow said. “This type of training is for people who have held down a full-time job for at least three months, for people who want to move up in the trades and need to learn reading and math.”

CEO Academy works closely with Bronx parole officers, and partners with churches and non-profits. The program lasts about eight months, with three months spent preparing for specific community college certification programs.

“What we teach here is very different from what you would learn in a GED preparation course because we read numbers and percentages in the context of learning to read blueprints and schematics,” Rogers said. “Our participants see how [the academics] are relevant [to the working world], and are motivated.”

Rogers explained that he and his staff work to maintain close relationships with the men and women who come to CEO Academy, housed temporarily at Bronx Community College until now.

“We also help them access social services,” he said.

For more information on CEO Academy, phone Darryl Rogers at (212) 422-4430 extension 202.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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