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RISE Programs

RISE Employment Program

The RISE Employment Program provides employment assistance to RISE  In-Prison Program Graduates currently residing within a community corrections facility and/or have been released to the community. Our graduates are refreshed on job readiness, resumes and cover letter creation, interviewing, and soft skills to ensure they are ready to interview and work with employers. 

This program is all about creating relationships with employers and community members who believe in second chance hiring and provide education on what it means to hire not only RISE Graduates, but all people with criminal backgrounds. We do this while ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion isn’t lost in the interviewing and hiring of people with criminal backgrounds.

RISE Graduates begin in the Employment Program pre-release and continue while transitioning through facilities and eventually back into the community.

Are you an Employer Curious about Second Chance Hiring?

Second chance hires have lower turnover rates, are highly loyal, and allow small businesses to diversify their workforce. Not only that, employers willing to hiring those with criminal backgrounds get to be a part of strengthening the community around them.

In our eyes, this pool of workforce candidates is untapped and ready to be your best next hire.

If you or your organization would like information on providing employment opportunities to the formerly incarcerated or WOTC federal tax credits, please reach out to RISE and our Employment Specialist, Eduardo Gardea. 


Email Eduardo Gardea, RISE Employment Specialist.

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Related Blogs...

While this is an immense win for the RISE Employment Program, we continue to see the need for middle to upper management employment opportunities. RISE graduates possess the soft skills, transferable skills and work experience to meet the demands of many different types of positions.

By increasing employer relationships in Omaha, Lincoln and across the state, RISE established itself as one of the leaders in the Metro area for successfully navigating employment for the formerly incarcerated.

Previously, the responsibility of self-betterment has been placed on the applicant. However, employers are beginning to ask themselves, “what can we do to help, what is our role as employers to support all applicants and the community overall?”

Greater Omaha Chamber's The Conference on Opportunity, Diversity and Equity
Breakout Session 4B

Nearly one in three Americans of working age have a criminal history. This long-avoided conversation is becoming imperative to hiring practices, inclusion in the workplace and navigating diverse experiences of employees.

From tax credits, to statistically proven high retention rates, both business owners and employees win when hiring people with criminal histories. Because incarceration is often viewed as taboo, employers and employees alike are often nervous to ask questions, leading to misinformation.

During this session, attendees will:
• Gain an increased understanding on why hiring individuals with criminal histories is good for business.
• Enter a brave space while uncommon questions are answered directly from individuals with criminal histories.
• Learn about background check friendly hiring and recruiting practices.

Our panel consists of:
Erica Raetz RISE, Director of Reentry
Eduardo Gardea RISE, Employment Specialist
Demetrius Gatson RISE, Reentry Specialist
Jasmine Harris RISE, Director of Policy & Advocacy