By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY — Last month, ReMerge, an alternative to incarceration for high-risk, high-need moms with non-violent charges in Oklahoma County, inaugurated their first Career Pathway Program aimed at equipping mothers to build future careers in information technology (IT). The program’s mission is to help break the intergenerational cycles of addiction, poverty and incarceration.
Nine current ReMerge participants “signed” their commitment to employers in the IT career field at the program’s first Draft Day event.
“We are extremely proud of and excited for the nine mothers who committed their futures to the career field of information technology today,” said ReMerge Executive Director Jenna Morey. “The Career Pathway Program is designed to provide workforce preparation for ReMerge mothers, because earning family sustaining wages and having job security are two leading factors in preventing reoffending.
“In the weeks to come, the nine women who committed today will begin training to better position themselves for IT-related career opportunities in the future,” Morey added.
ReMerge is a four phase program that first acts to stabilize moms and build a foundation for recovery. As ReMerge moms progress through the phases of the program, they gain the necessary coping, parenting and practical skills needed to rebuild their lives and their families.
To support their ongoing professional development efforts, ReMerge launched the Pathway Program to provide additional career opportunities and encourage long-term financial generation for graduates after they leave the program.
Career pathways are developed in occupations that are in high-demand in Oklahoma, offer a low barrier to entry and provide opportunity for wealth generation. Additional pathways in healthcare and the trades will launch later this year.
“The opportunity to participate in the Pathway Program means charting a future where I can provide for my family with certainty,” said Norman, a current ReMerge participant. “I am ready to dive in and learn the skills I need to begin a life-long career in information technology. I am so grateful for the opportunity and the hard work from many who made this program possible.”
Program participants will begin coding training in the weeks following Draft Day to prepare them for an IT-related job upon graduation from ReMerge.
The IT career pathway is sponsored by a generous donation given in honor of Libby DeLucia-Harting, as well as support from Boeing and Impact Oklahoma.
ReMerge is an alternative to incarceration for high-risk, high-need moms with non-violent charges in Oklahoma County that restores mothers and families through a comprehensive diversion program of treatment, recovery, and hope. The program provides individualized, wraparound services to remove barriers and break the intergenerational cycles of incarceration, addiction, and poverty.
For more information, visit remergeok.org.