Mayor Walsh Announces Expansion of Boston's Successful Reentry Program, Operation Exit
BOSTON - Friday, November 20, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Delegated Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education John King to announce the expansion of Boston's successful reentry program, Operation Exit, to include opportunities in the technology industry through a partnership with Resilient Coders. The announcement was part of a roundtable discussion on Operation Exit and closing opportunity gaps through the My Brother's Keeper Initiative in Boston.
"Operation Exit is a true example of what can be achieved when people are given second chances and opportunities for a fresh start," said Mayor Walsh. "I am proud to see the success of this program, and am confident that its expansion will continue to further our goal of increasing public safety in Boston. I thank our partners for their support as we work to address the root causes of violence and create generational change. The young men and women who excel in this program are not defined by their set of circumstances, and will ultimately lead our City to a better future."
Operation Exit was established by Mayor Walsh in 2014 to help at-risk residents, or those with a criminal background, by providing the knowledge and skills required for entry into an apprenticeship program. Through career readiness and occupational skills training, the intensive training program provides hands-on learning experiences with peer-to-peer mentorship to prepare participants for good careers.
"Operation Exit should serve as an example of the type of smart and collaborative approaches other cities can take to improve reentry outcomes and strengthen communities," said Delegated Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education John King. "Boston and other cities who are part of My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge are taking the important steps to invest in high-wage job training and education. I am proud to stand with Mayor Walsh to announce the expansion of Boston's Operation Exit program and their innovative partnership with Resilient Coders."
Operation Exit currently includes apprenticeship opportunities in the building trades and culinary arts, and now the technology field. In addition, coordinated case management and placement services are provided to assist participants in achieving career goals. To date, Operation Exit has helped place 26 residents into careers. Through the expansion of Operation Exit, Resilient Coders will teach young people from traditionally underserved communities how to code. The multi-tiered program utilizes co-working sessions to teach students how to use HTML coding. The eight-week program will launch in January 2016 and will offer participants the opportunity to learn to design, build and market websites. Based out of MassChallenge, the program will be taught by professional software engineers and will help bring participants one step closer to a good paying career in the tech field.
"I'm proud to live in a city that understands that public safety is not about keeping people "inside," it's about keeping them out," said David Delmar, Executive Director of Resilient Coders. "At the same time, our tech community is making an effort to reach out to communities traditionally underrepresented in an otherwise vibrant tech ecosystem. This alignment across sectors is what makes this more than an initiative. It's a movement. This is the time and the place."
Mayor Walsh created the Office of Public Safety Initiatives with the mandate of establishing cross-agency and cabinet coordination to tackle the challenging and complex problems in our neighborhoods that lead to and perpetuate violence.
Part of this overall strategy includes the President's national initiative, My Brother's Keeper, which seeks to actively engage the community to promote positive outcomes for all youth, especially Black and Latino boys and young men. In September 2014, Mayor Walsh established the MBK Boston Advisory Committee and in May 2015, he released "Opportunity * Access * Equity: MBK Boston Recommendations for Action," a collaborative action plan to increase pathways to opportunities.