Retention Specialist

Center for Employment Opportunities | New York, New York


The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides employment services to people with recent criminal convictions.   Across the United States, over 5,000 people participate in CEO each year, transitioning to employment that supports themselves, their families, and their communities.

What began as a demonstration project of the Vera Institute of Justice in the 1970s to address employment barriers facing the formerly incarcerated following release in New York City has grown into the leading reentry employment organization in the country, where over 25,000 formerly incarcerated individuals have secured full-time employment since 1996.  Since 2009, CEO has gained support to expand its programs through government, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Federal Social Innovation Fund, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation.  In 2016, CEO embarked on a 5-year strategic plan to grow to serve 9,000 participants annually.

Job Summary

We’re looking to hire a resilient and results-driven Retention Specialist for our New York City program who will keep our program participants fully engaged in the labor force for at least twelve months after they’ve secured full-time employment.

A successful Retention Specialist understands customer relationship management and works to build strong and trusting relationships with participants; strategically manages his/her caseload, balancing the needs of individual participants with organizational need to achieve programmatic outcomes, and holds him/herself accountable for capturing a running record of participant interactions  and milestone achievements within CEO’s case management system.


Major responsibilities of the Retention Specialist include but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining frequent contact with participants;
  • Researching and connecting participants to educational and vocational opportunities as related to their short- and long-term goals;
  • Providing participants with continued life skills education and relevant resources;
  • Advocating for participant needs with parole officers and other constituencies;
  • Distributing retention incentives to participants


  • Demonstrated commitment to CEO’s mission and interest in working in a fast-growing and results-oriented nonprofit environment
  • Bachelor’s degree (ideally with a focus in criminal justice, public administration, psychology, social work, or a related liberal arts field) preferred, along with 1-2 years of related experience
  • Ability to travel throughout the area, stand for long periods of time, and walk up and down stairs
  • Experience providing feedback and guidance to help clients strengthen knowledge and skills
  • Strong time management and prioritization skills
  • Ability to take into account and analyze various points of view and data to form a perspective appropriate to a particular context
  • Ability to ascertain the priorities of a particular individual or group and craft persuasive written or verbal communication given those priorities
  • Bilingual (Spanish) preferred


The salary for this position is $42,000. We also offer a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage, paid parental leave, participation in a retirement plan, sick and vacation leave, paid holidays and more.  We're a workplace that promotes continual learning and teamwork, offering lunch and learns, team outings, holiday gatherings and more for our staff.

How to Apply

Please apply with a resume and cover letter using the following link:

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Center for Employment Opportunities


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations