Workforce Development (OWDS)

OWDS (Offender Workforce Development Specialist) training is a career focused approach that provides practitioners with practical tools to assist individuals returning to society from a time of incarceration. The OWDS curriculum was developed through a partnership between the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the National Career Development Association.

Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) training is a comprehensive, 180-hour curriculum that is delivered in three one week segments occurring over a four month time frame. There are 120 hours of classroom work and an additional 68 hours of homework and self-study that is required between the classroom sessions.

Participants study, take quizzes, participate in numerous activities, have a comprehensive final exam and complete homework projects including a video assignment. All of these are scored and a final grade of 70 or above must be obtained to receive certification.

The OWDS program includes three essential elements:

  • Creation of partnerships between the criminal justice system, community organizations, and a broad array of governmental agencies
  • Training in 11 competency-based skills that meet the requirements for certification through the NIC (OWDS Certification) and the Center for Credentialing and Education (Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) certification)
  • Development of comprehensive action plans by training participants for implementation into their respective agencies and jurisdictions

Indiana has grown from “1” Offender Workforce Development Specialist in 2009 to our current number of “301”. These individuals represent a wide array of agencies and jurisdictions throughout our State.

OWDS Building Bridges Team Members Map