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Orijin partners with Interplay Learning to scale up access to skilled trades workforce development in correctional facilities

/EIN News/ -- NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orijin, the premier evidence-based educational learning platform in corrections, and Interplay Learning, the leading provider of immersive skilled trades training, have joined forces in an exclusive partnership to scale-up access to workforce development for incarcerated individuals to reduce recidivism and meet U.S. labor shortages.

Delivered via Orijin’s evidence-based learning platform, Interplay's expert-led video-based content will engage and equip novice learners with the fundamentals and practical skills necessary to transition into apprenticeship programs and entry-level trade roles in HVAC, plumbing, multi-family maintenance, electrical, solar, and facilities maintenance. Learners will be well-prepared to sit for industry-recognized credentials like NATE, OSHA 10, and EPA 608, unlocking accelerated pathways to career success in their chosen trades.

“On one hand, we have an enormous number of well-paying jobs in the U.S. in trades that go unfilled every year, and on the other, we have 600,000 individuals returning from state prisons each year and almost 9 million cycling through county jails, many of whom seek these very jobs to uplift themselves and their families,” said Arti Finn, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Orijin. “We are excited to join forces in this exclusive partnership with such an esteemed partner to close the skills gaps and opportunity gaps.”

Today, there are close to 2 million1 incarcerated people in the U.S. and at least 95%2 of all state prisoners will be released at some point. Incarcerated learners participating in correctional education programs are nearly 43%3 less likely to recidivate when compared with those who did not participate in correctional education programs. Yet, only 17%4 incarcerated people in state prisons have participated in educational programming.

Vocational education is one of the most popular disciplines in correctional programming, but almost all correctional facilities have long waitlists of students waiting for a spot to enroll in classes, due to both space and staff shortages. With the Orijin-Interplay Learning partnership, jurisdictions can dramatically expand access to more incarcerated learners without having to add additional teachers or build new vocational shops.

"We are honored to have our skilled trades courses integrated into Orijin's innovative workforce development platform," said Doug Donovan, Founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. "This mission-aligned collaboration is creating meaningful second-chances by increasing access to educational pathways that empower justice-impacted individuals to earn industry certifications and work towards sustainable employment in high-demand trades careers."

According to the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation, 85% of HR professionals and 81% of business leaders report that individuals with criminal records perform the same as, or better than, employees without criminal records. Yet, despite data showing a high return on investment with second-chance employment, justice-impacted people are nearly 5 times more likely to be unemployed, and those who do find jobs, earn only about half of what the average worker earns.

“Through high-quality, immersive, industry-aligned content that is validated by employers across the country, coupled with our strong industry partnerships, the partnership will accelerate pathways to sustainable jobs, which will break the cycle of incarceration once and for all,” said Finn.

About Orijin

Founded in 2014, Orijin’s mission is to rewrite every justice-impacted person’s story, allowing each to re-enter society with renewed career-readiness, re-skilled education, and training through a customized pathway, to rebuild their lives and create sustainable employment. Orijin provides a robust cloud-based learning and communications platform delivered on secure tablet computers in hundreds of correctional facilities across the country. Orijin is a public benefit corporation and certified Certified B Corporation that never charges incarcerated individuals or their families for its technology or services. Visit https://Orijin.works to learn more.

About Interplay Learning

Austin-based Interplay Learning is the industry leader in immersive training solutions for the skilled trades. Interplay’s acclaimed SkillMill training platform enables rapid upskilling and empowers new technicians to be job-ready within weeks, not years. Featuring expert-led videos, hands-on 3D simulations, knowledge checks, and personalized learning paths, SkillMill is more scalable and engaging than traditional training. Leveraging advanced technologies like AI and VR, Interplay is reshaping the future of online skilled trades training, delivering highly effective learning experiences that result in better careers and better lives. Recent accolades include Forbes’ 2023 America’s Best Startup Employers, 2022 Inc. 5000 list, 2022 Inc. Best in Business list, and three honorable mentions in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. Visit www.interplaylearning.com to learn more.


1 Bureau of Justice Statistics 
2 U.S. Department of Justice
3 RAND 
4 Prison Policy Initiative

Media Contact
Jaime Crespo
Marketing Communications Manager

jaime.crespo@orijin.com 
561-809-2156


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