Young residents of Richmond came to the Reentry Success Center on June 22 at the conclusion of a five-day job training program organized by Antwon Cloird.
The young adults are reentering society after stints of incarceration, and it’s always a challenge for reentering populations to maintain sustainable employment, Cloird said.
This was an opportunity for the participants to have, as Cloird says, “a second opportunity at a first-class life.”
The program offers jobs at Vericool, a green packaging manufacturing company based in Livermore. The company’s CEO, former Richmond resident Darrell Jobe, and CFO Danny Dubuk went to the Reentry Success Center, where they met the applicants.
After a lengthy discussion, Jobe and Dubuk offered full-time jobs to all of five of the young adults.
Jobe, who had his own troubles while growing up in Richmond, said it is his goal to increase the proportion of his workforce that is made up of local reentry men and women.
The company represents a paradigm shift in packaging because coolers currently manufactured worldwide are not usually biodegradable, but Jobe has created a cooler product that is 100 percent biodegradable.
The company’s model is environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
The Reentry Success Center opened in 2015 to serve as a hub of services for the formerly incarcerated.
“I’ve been trying to reach out to the City Council leaders about removing barriers to employment, and Darrell has given us the opportunity to have a pipeline to remove the barriers and guide reentry residents to secure employment, which is vital to their long-term success,” said Cloird.
“With more programs like this in our community, our recidivism rate and gun violence will steadily decrease thanks to the opportunities given to our residents. There is only one way to change the stigma in the city from violence, and it’s by investing in the community,” he said.
The offices of Supervisor John Gioia and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier were on hand to support the effort.
Supervisor Gioia’s District Coordinator Robert Rogers, said, “The center is a great hub of resources and support for our formerly incarcerated West County residents.”