Transitional Employment Program (Roca)

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

DCF Transitional Employment Program (Roca) line item uses revenue collected from program participants to fund the transitional employment program run by Roca, Inc., an organization serving the most disenfranchised young people ages 17-24 in the communities of Chelsea, Revere and East Boston.

The Roca Inc. transitional employment program serves youth aging out of foster care, parolees, probationers, youth service releases, or other community residents. The program is built especially for a high-risk population of youth who have had trouble getting and keeping jobs. Emphasis is directed at the importance of showing up, working hard and following directions. Participants learn about work while creating positive habits that support their employment. Feedback loops allow youth to process past and current behavior that may be affecting their ability to remain employed.

In FY 2015, ROCA served 659 young men in a transitional employment program, up from 268 in FY 2014. Outcomes for these youth can be found on Roca's website. Roca notes that 92 percent of youth who were in the program were able to maintain employment for at least 90 days. Roca estimates it costs approximately $7,000 - $12,600 per person for a transitional employment slot.

In 2013 Roca and the MA Executive Office of Administration and Finance launched a social innovation financing project that aims to reduce crime and recidivism among young men aging out of state juvenile custody. ROCA expects to serve over 900 youth during the programs 5-year pilot phase. The program will initially be funded with private investment with the state only reimbursing if the program meets certain performance goals.

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