byc re emerge sc works partner to find sc jobs for the formerly incarcerated


BYC, Re-Emerge & SC Works Partner to Find SC Jobs for the Formerly Incarcerated

Build Your Career is pleased to announce a newly formed partnership with REEMERGE, a Midlands, SC area reintegration and employment placement program for the formerly incarcerated, in direct affiliation with SC Works with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce. REEMERGE is a 6 – 12 month comprehensive reintegration program that uses coaching and mentoring, education, employment and entrepreneurship to assist individuals transitioning from the penal system back into mainstream society.

Reintegrating individuals registered in the program receive a variety of industry-related training in fields such as basic carpentry, masonry, HVAC, industrial electrical, welding, as well as structured operational experience and on-the-job training. Build Your Career is serving as a liaison partner to bridge the gap between the REEMEGE program participants who need employment and our CAGC members firms who are in desperate need of employees. Participating employers who enroll in the program can receive up to 75 – 100% wage reimbursement from 10 – 24 weeks, liability and Work Comp insurance covered during the initial phase of the program, plus Work Opportunity Tax Credits and eligibility to receive SC Apprenticeship Initiative Grants.

According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, approximately 10,000 people are released from South Carolina prisons every year. Research shows that individuals who have employable skills or a job waiting for them upon release are significantly more likely to succeed outside of prison, while also simultaneously reducing rates of recidivism. Initiatives like the REEMERGE transitional reintegration program are a vital component in providing various soft and hard skills to offenders, making them more employable and ultimately preparing incarcerated individuals for life “beyond the fence.”

The REEMERGE Program is spearheaded by Diane Sumpter, Founder and CEO of DESA, Inc., based in Columbia, South Carolina. DESA is a Professional and Business Services firm with a strong Construction and Engineering Services division. When asked to describe the importance the REEMERGE program and positive impact it will have on the Midlands and SC economy, Ms. Sumpter stated: “Programs like REEMERGE are important because they give people hope and help highlight resources. Oftentimes ex-offenders trying to successfully reintegrate fail due to a lack of knowledge and resources. Our program helps make these connections between the inmate participants and available resources and this is a huge help to those who really desire to change.

Reintegration programs to help the formerly incarcerated transition, such as REEMERGE, are not only an integral part of their success upon release from the prison system, but they are also highly beneficial to participating employers willing to hire these individuals and give them a second chance. A few of the vast employer benefits to enrolling in the REEMERGE program are:

  • Skilled workers trained to industry/employer specifications

  • A pipeline for new, skilled workers

  • Wage reimbursement for employers

  • Reduced turnover

  • Qualification for Work Opportunity Tax Credits

Furthermore, there are overwhelming financial and economic benefits to communities and states participating in programs like REEMERGE. Housing an inmate costs over $24,000 a year and according to the SC Department of Corrections 2018 Accountability Report, tax payers spent a whopping $ 496,772,997 in total to fund SCDOC inmate incarceration. Prison system inmates have historically been “overlooked” by employers and the reality is, there is a huge pool of potential employee candidates available for those employers willing to hire them. It’s a win-win for those incarcerated—as well as employers—and can inevitably boost the local economy!

Build Your Career will work in direct partnership with REEMERGE and SC Works to target and identify potential South Carolina CAGC member employers to enroll in the reintegration program. The primary goals will be to assist in providing multiple training and educational resources for the SCDOC inmates, while matching the best skilled workers with the right types of employers. When asked to comment on the significance and impact of the role Carolinas AGC and its Build Your Career workforce development initiative will play in the newly formed partnership with REEMERGE, Diane Sumpter stated: “Carolinas AGC is a tremendous asset to our program. Their BYC initiative emphasizes that the construction industry offers well-paying and rewarding jobs that need to be filled now and in the future.

For more information on how you can enroll your SC company in the REEMERGE program, please contact the Build Your Career Program Director, Tammy Ford, via email at or by phone at (704) 995-3901.  You can also read more about the program by visiting the REEMERGE website or by contacting Nicole Holland, REEMERGE Project Manager, at (803) 722-1775 or via email at

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