Press Release
October 18, 2021

CWI Labs Establishes New Partnership with Greyston

To Support Formerly Incarcerated Job Seekers

CWI Labs, the innovation hub and sister organization to the Center for Workforce Inclusion, is proud to announce that it will partner with Greyston to deliver job training placement for formerly incarcerated job seekers age 50+ living in New York. Over the next twelve months, we anticipate assisting at least 100 job seekers.

Gainful employment post-release benefits not only the job seeker, but their families, employers, and communities. Employment reduces recidivism, creates sales and income tax revenue, alleviates health impacts, and lowers the costs of maintaining our justice system. However, on average, the Prison Policy Initiative reports that formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%, which is five times higher than the unemployment rate for the general U.S. population. This disparity has very likely increased during the COVID recession.

“The benefits of meaningful employment for formerly incarcerated people are clear,” said Gary A. Officer, Founder and CEO of CWI Labs. “It is also clear that our current workforce development programs are not sufficient. Our partnership with Greyston will address many of the obstacles to equitable economic opportunity through a hire first, train later approach.”

The CWI Labs/Greyston partnership will provide clients with re-entry services to attain and retain meaningful full-time employment that pays a living wage. Each client will participate in an evaluation and goal-setting that will determine their individual transition plan. Greyston offers a range of programs for its clients from its innovative Open Hiring® model to the Greyston Rangers apprenticeship program.

“For 38 years, Greyston has opened its doors to those who face rejection elsewhere,” said Joseph D. Kenner, President and CEO of Greyston. “Our partnership with CWI Labs will advance our shared mission to replace scrutiny with trust, transform lives, and break the cycle of poverty.”

This partnership is supported by a $375,000 grant from NextFifty Initiative

This grant continues an ongoing and impactful relationship between CWI Labs and the NextFifty Initiative. Previous grants supported job training and placement for older, formerly incarcerated individuals in Denver, Colorado and Atlanta, Georgia.

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CWI Labs is the innovation hub of the Center for Workforce Inclusion. As the largest and most experienced workforce development organization dedicated exclusively to the low-income 50+ workforce, the Center for Workforce Inclusion understands that experience in what has worked in the past is not enough to succeed in our rapidly changing world. CWI Labs was founded to partner with like-minded organizations and innovate new approaches, advance best practices, and tackle the labor force obstacles confronting traditionally underserved communities. Learn more about us.

Since 1982, Greyston has worked to help individuals facing barriers to employment secure a job, improve their lives, and become self-sufficient.  Demonstrated by our Bakery, Greyston hires bakery apprentices through a process called Open Hiring®, which means no interviews, no background checks, and no resumes required.  Knowing that a job alone is not enough to ensure success, Greyston offers innovative training, development, and wraparound social services, and the opportunity for individuals to unlock their full potential.  Greyston makes an even greater impact by helping to educate individuals through our Workforce Development and Training programs.  Greyston’s work and offered services will help to meet the needs of some 10 million unemployed Americans who face barriers to employment and unlock $3 billion in economic development by partnering with businesses large and small to replicate Greyston’s Inclusive Hiring practices.  This practice focuses on the potential of employees, not whatever difficulties they may have encountered in their pasts. Learn more at