Seven Lancaster County Human Services Workers Get OWDS Certification

Written by Scott J. Sheely on Saturday - November 26, 2011.

Lancaster:Seven members of the Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) team of the Lancaster County Re-Entry Management Organization completed their training in October and were recognized by the Lancaster County Commissioners at the meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday, November 16, 2011.

OWDS is a national initiative from the National Institute of Corrections that promotes skill development and collaboration to improve employment outcomes, including job retention, for those re-entering the community from jails and prisons. The effort will result in lower recidivism, higher rates of employment, savings to taxpayers, and a reduction in the costs of incarceration.

Members of the Team underwent 180 hours of training to obtain this certification and they were among the first in Pennsylvania to be awarded the nationally-recognized OWDS credential. Team members include...

• Danielle Bednarczyk - Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
• Joan Shindel - OVR
• Jameson Collins - OVR
• Melanie Snyder - Re-Entry Management Organization
• Kay Knight - Neighborhood Services
• Tony Haws - Lancaster County Prison
• Larry Washington - Lancaster County Adult Probation and Parole Services

This Lancaster team will now bring what they have learned back to Lancaster County by offering trainings for other Lancaster County professionals who work with offenders and ex-offenders. These trainings will cover essential skills and best practices to assist people coming out of prison to find employment.

About the Author

Scott J. Sheely

Scott J. Sheely

Scott J. Sheely served as Executive Director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board from 2000 until early 2015. He has worked as a Human Resource Director of a large mental health agency, operations manager of a nursing home chain, associate pastor of a church, and owner of a wholesale jewelry business.

Under Sheely's leadership, the WIB created the first health care-based Industry Partnership in Pennsylvania. He serves on the steering committee of the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers and recently served on the Workfroce Cabinet of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.