Duane Jennings- RExO Participant

 

“I made my mind up before I left prison that I would do everything I  needed to do to keep from ever returning to prison.” Duane Jennings said  in an interview with the reentry coordinator.

Duane enrolled in The Dannon Project’s reentry program three days  after he was released from federal prison in January 2013. He began the career readiness and workforce preparation training the next day after he completed the orientation for program enrollment to get financial literacy, life skills and job readiness training. Duane valued the career readiness training he received. He said, “You can never get enough training. I  completed the Construction Managagement certification while I was  incarcerated. The Dannon Project provided me with training to get me  prepared and ready for work.”

While Duane worked to complete the career readiness training at the Success Center, he regularly took time to do online job searches while he was at the Success Center. His persisitent job search efforts led to him receiving an interview for a job as a crew worker with a major construction
company. Duane began new employment with the construction company the next day after his job interview. “ I was determined to get a job. I was not afraid of a little hard work”. He said, “I was so confident that I could do the job, I asked the employer to try me out on the job for one day and if he was satisfied with my work to let me know.” That day, Duane was hired!

In less than three months on the job as a construction worker, Duane was promoted to crew manager. He said he didn’t have any doubt that things wouldn’t work out for him when he returned from serving 12 years in prison. “The Dannon Project helped me a lot. The program has been a positive influence to help me get my life on track.” Duane remarked. “ I have outlined my goals and I work towards them everyday.” Duane hopes to own a construction business one day. He wants to make employment opportunities available for other ex offenders that are enrolled in The Dannon Project’s
programs.

Duane said the opportunities The Dannon Project and the Department of Labor provided for him has inspired him to him to help other ex offenders realize their potential after prison.