One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico: Helping Ex-offenders Gain the Power to Rebuild Their Lives
The One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico (OSCC), founded in 2000, has a mission that benefits a community not often talked about: the reentry population.
Since 2000, OSCC has helped approximately 14,000 ex-offenders find meaningful employment and rebuild their lives. OSCC’s participants have an 85% rate of successful job placement and a recidivism rate of approximately 12%, in significant contrast to an average 76.6% recidivism rate across 30 states.
This year, UnidosUS is funding OSCC to provide training in high-wage, high-demand sectors, and support services to young adults who have been involved in the justice system. This funding supports the excellent work OSCC already does to help participants transition to society post-incarceration, through its services that include job readiness, placement and retention training, individual and group career counseling, and remedial and personal development services.
OSCC has a strong record of working with the reentry population, and their work was recently featured on El Nuevo Día. The organization empowers the personal development of its clients through programming like the #YoNoMeQuito (“I will not give up”) movement, which seeks to inspire Puerto Ricans across the island to create a better Puerto Rico for future generations.
At a recent program meeting, participants shared testimonies of how One Stop Career Center has helped them build an independent, self-sufficient, and meaningful life that also benefits their communities.
Janet Rivera, a volunteer at OSCC, shared that OSCC helped her realize that “her life has a purpose and [that she can persevere]” and she encouraged young people to “push forward and fight for their goals.”
In light of the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, OSCC has been active in recovery efforts across the island. Just two days after the hurricane, OSCC helped families acquire basic necessities, apply for FEMA aid and seek alternative housing.
More recently they launched an online fundraiser to support recovery efforts, and they have already delivered truckloads of food and supplies to southern municipalities where aid has been scarce.
The work of OSCC has been impactful in many ways, and we are proud to call them a UnidosUS Affiliate organization. To learn more about OSCC’s work, visit their website and Facebook page.