HUDSON — Ginsberg’s Foods will work with a new program the Columbia County Probation Department started to help people get jobs while on probation so they have productive prospects upon release.
The Columbia County Probation Department started its new five-week long Ready, Set, Work! program, under the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, in September. The program provides qualified candidates under probation supervision with classes that teach skills needed to get a job while on probation.
“This is something we just started this year,” said Columbia County Probation Department Director Vincent Doto. “We had our first session in September.”
The county probation department sent one of its officers, Gavin Cipollino, an offender workforce development specialist, to a state training program, with no cost to the county, to be able to provide classes to people on probation that teach them where to find job listings, how to apply for jobs and the people skills needed to keep jobs once they get hired.
The program sessions last five weeks and consist of two, two-hour classes per week.
Upon completion of the program, participants create a resume and work with the Columbia County Probation Department to seek employment.
“I think this program is important for the community-at-large just for the fact these people can develop self-worth, self-respect,and have some income,” Doto said. “They will have a normal functioning day, going to work each day. The program will help them stay crime free and make them into productive members of the community.”
The first session had two people participate, who graduated in September, with one of the participant getting a job with local employer Ginsberg’s Foods, 29 Ginsbergs Road, Hudson, right after the session ended, Doto said. The participant was hired as an operational position on the Night Warehouse team.
“Ginsberg’s said they like the work he is doing for them,” Doto said. “It is important to have partners in the community like Ginsberg’s to help with this. We have been lucky in Columbia County that there are a lot of employment opportunities in the area and we have a high percentage of people on probation who get jobs.”
Ginsberg’s Foods officially announced Tuesday it will partner with the department to help qualified candidates find employment while on probation.
“When we were presented with the opportunity to be the launch partner in the Columbia County Probation Department’s new Ready, Set, Work! program, we jumped at it,” said Ginsberg’s Foods CEO Suzanne Rajczi. “Ginsberg’s Foods is committed to our community, committed to our people, and always looking for opportunities to develop relationships with forward-thinking organizations.”
The program’s first session was a success, Doto said.
“Two people is a good number for the first session, so we can work out any kinks,” Doto said. “Going forward we will be looking for groups of five to 10 people. We try to find the right candidates for the program: People who want to participate and will commit and show up.”
The probation department plans to hold its next class in November.
“We’re excited for what the future holds through our partnership with the Columbia County Probation Department,” Ginsberg’s Foods Vice President of Human Resources John Rutkey said. “Our first hire has been an extremely successful addition to our operations team and we’re confident the next class will similarly yield impressive and hard-working candidates.”