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Offender Workforce Development Specialist Training

The Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) training is an intensive, 160-hour training that prepares individuals to assist the reentrant population in finding and maintaining employment.  OWDS was developed by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), and is offered annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and partner agencies.

OWDS participants complete 80 hours of in-person training; approximately 12 hours of online-based curriculum; practicum assignments totaling approximately 40-50 hours; and participate in various networking and other self-study opportunities.  Successful completion of the program can result in a certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). 

In addition to OWDS training, the Reentry Employment Specialist (RES) training is offered several times annually throughout the state.  Also developed by NIC, this 16 hour training focuses on how to improve employment outcomes for persons with criminal histories through strategies that include collaboration, assessment, job readiness, and job development. 

If you would like additional information on OWDS or RES classes, please contact Matthew Sheaffer at