Center for Employment Opportunities

Launched 2015



The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) believes in a brighter future for anyone with a recent criminal history who wants to work.

Relying on highly structured and tightly supervised programs, CEO works with participants to regain the skills and confidence needed for successful transitions to stable, productive lives. Their four step process – incorporating life skills education, short-term paid transitional employment, full-time job placement and post-placement services – reaches people formerly incarcerated at their most vulnerable point. With a boost from CEO, participants are less likely to become reincarcerated and more likely to build a foundation for a stable, productive life for themselves and their families.

Through our community-driven process, GreenLight identified the high rate of recidivism locally as a key challenge to address and selected CEO as the most effective, evidence-based model for prisoner re-entry. In partnership with state and local officials, GreenLight launched the program in Philadelphia in 2015.

Several studies testify to CEO’s success: a 16-22 percent reduction in recidivism and higher levels of immediate and long term employment. Local businesses benefit too, gaining a well-trained, reliable work force that provides the skills and work ethic needed to compete.

CEO’s Impact in Philadelphia

In 2022-23


permanent job placements


average hourly wage


retained employment after one year

In Philadelphia

is the average wage of participants

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