Rochion Gregg, OWDS
Rochion Gregg, throughout nearly 26 years of experience in human resources and civil rights, has excelled as an informed reentry leader and trusted influencer. She has developed impeccable expertise in introducing new talent to opportunities. Specifically, she emphasizes employment opportunities for those marginalized individuals transitioning from jail to the community. Her skillfulness in helping the job seeker obtain the career opportunity extends to employee development so that the “new talent” stays engaged and advances within the organization. They walk away realizing that although they have made mistakes the lessons learned must be recognized and incorporated into their critical thinking going forward.
As an Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) Facilitator, Ms. Gregg, in collaboration with other groups, has trained and graduated over 2500 Reentry Employment Specialist (RES) and OWDS from across the country. Because of her mastery of the subject matter and her role as a mentor and advisor, these professionals receive up-to-date instruction on best practices when working with returning citizens.
As an Employment Retention Master Facilitator, the message to private employers includes an emphasis on the benefits of giving formerly incarcerated citizens a second, third, and fourth, chance. She helps employers recognize and understand the value of hiring from this untapped pool of applicants. As a community leader, Ms. Gregg was an instrumental player in the "Banning the Box" movement which, in 2008, resulted in the removal of the “criminal background” question on the City of Austin job applications. Ms. Gregg believes that increasing employment opportunities will reduce recidivism, reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system, increase the hiring pool of qualified applicants, and strengthen families to create safer communities.