Staffing Jail-Based American Job Centers

Issue Brief: Early Lessons from LEAP
Publisher: Princeton, NJ, and Oakland, CA: Mathematica Policy Research and Social Policy Research Associates
Nov 02, 2016
Authors
Mika Clark

Key Findings:

  • Grantees sought to hire staff with a combination of criminal justice experience, workforce development experience, group facilitation skills, and interpersonal skills, but found it difficult to find candidates who possessed all of these skills.
  • Lengthy background checks required to work in the jails, difficulty recruiting qualified candidates, and long, bureaucratic hiring processes contributed to staffing delays.
  • Engaging partners in the hiring process and being flexible with staffing plans helped mitigate hiring challenges.
To operate specialized American Job Centers (AJCs) within jail facilities, workforce development agencies had to adapt their standard approaches to hiring and staffing to accommodate the operations and security requirements of the jail and hiring processes of various partners. Drawing on data from site visits to seven LEAP sites, this brief explores their approach to staffing jail-based AJCs, including the varying staffing configurations, key staff qualifications, hiring and onboarding processes, and strategies to expedite hiring based on lessons learned.