The Successful Outcomes After Release Program (SOAR) is designed to provide gainful employment to former offenders that meet program guidelines while supplementing the city's existing workforce in areas of critical need. The city will designate temporary positions for a period of six months. Under immediate supervision, SOAR participants will perform routine labor jobs in the Community Development, Fairgrounds, Vegetation Management, Cemetery, and Recreation and Parks Departments, such as landscaping, mowing, maintaining public and historic buildings, picking up paper and debris on public property and streets, and assisting with housing code enforcement. In addition, participants will be provided life skills training via lectures, group discussions, and activities such as goal setting; planning; interpersonal relationship skills; diversity; personal accountability; financial management; communication; GED and/or post-secondary education; job search techniques; self-presentation; and resume writing (in conjunction with the existing Youth Build Program).
Program participants will be encouraged to apply for full-time positions within the city at any time during their participation in the SOAR Program.
The Project Supervisor is responsible for:
- Daily program operations, including budget development and monitoring;
- Evaluating progress of the program;
- Reassessing needs and making recommendations for improvement when necessary;
- Maintaining essential records and files and completing standard forms;
- Conducting applicant assessments for purposes of potential placement;
- Preparing periodic progress reports to City Council and City Manager.
To be eligible to participate in this program, applicants MUST meet the following criteria:
- Must be a resident of Winston-Salem.
- Must have at least one prior conviction.
- Must have at least six months work experience since last conviction or successfully completed a job-training/re-entry program.
- Must pass a City-sponsored drug test.
- Must consent to a background check.
- Must be registered with selective service (required for males only)
- Must be able to work 25 hours a week (Monday –Friday)
NOTE: Some assignments may require working nights and/or weekends.
(Reasonable accommodations may substitute for physical requirements listed)
Must be able to lift or move minimum of 25 lbs. and maneuver up to 1 mile; must be able to operate light and medium equipment; work with large and small objects. This position will work outdoors and may be exposed to changing weather, adverse smells and sights, loud sounds and repetitive operations.
The SOAR applicants are required to submit a current resume, a cover letter and proof of graduation from a job skills/job readiness program. Applications will be vetted by the Human Resources Department to ensure that minimum eligibility is achieved. Once vetted, the Project Supervisor will screen the applications to determine interviewees.
Following successful completion of the assessment, applicants will be scheduled for a panel interview. During the interview, applicants are questioned about their motivations for being in the program. The interview is designed to ascertain the applicant’s willingness and readiness to make the necessary positive changes to be successful both during their time in SOAR, but more importantly, beyond their time in SOAR.
Participants selected must pass the city's standard pre-employment screening including physical examination and substance abuse screening prior to being accepted. The City of Winston-Salem has a zero tolerance as it concerns drug usage. All applicants must successfully pass the drug screening with a negative test in order to be considered for employment. Failure to show up for scheduled drug screening during the allotted time or refusal to submit to the screening will disqualify an applicant from program enrollment.
Selected participants will be classified as temporary employees for the duration of their employment. Once participants are selected and have met all the necessary requirements, they will be scheduled to attend the city’s new employee orientation classes.
Participants will work a 25-hour week, reporting to work on the schedule of the participating department. In the event participants are called upon to work outside of normal hours, adjustments will be made to participant work schedules so that hours worked in a given week will not exceed 25 hours. As temporary employees, participants will be paid at the City’s minimum wage.
Inclement Weather/Emergency Closings
As a program of the City of Winston-Salem’s CD, SOAR participants will follow the city’s guidelines as it pertains to program closure due to inclement weather.
Once participants begin work in the field, staff will demonstrate safety techniques and will observe each student to ensure they demonstrate property safety. It is imperative that staff utilize the safety measures at all times and minimize the possibility of accidents. However, accidents may occur, if they do, staff should follow the protocol outlined in the City of Winston-Salem Employee Handbook (Section V-35). If the injury is a life-threating medical emergency, 911 must be called immediately, and staff must stay with the injured participants until assistance arrives. Any injury resulting from an accident while on the job, regardless of how minor it may seem, must be reported at once to the Project Supervisor. Failure to report an accident or injury could result in disciplinary action.
SOAR is a drug-free program.
Interested? Let us know! Fill out an online interest form.