The Georgetown University Pivot Program is a business and entrepreneurship-oriented reentry program, delivered by Georgetown University in partnership with the D.C. Department of Employment Services. The program, which combines classroom training with subsidized internships at local businesses and non-profits, is designed to change the attitude of employers toward the hiring of individuals with prior criminal convictions, and to allow returning citizens to access opportunities that would be otherwise out of reach. We also hope that Pivot Program graduates will create jobs for themselves and for others through business enterprises of their own.
Across the United States, more than seven million Americans currently are under some form of correctional control – including incarceration, parole, and probation – and one in three adults has a criminal record. In the District of Columbia alone, as many as 5,000 individuals are released from prison or jail every year, and less than half of them find sustainable employment. This perpetuates a cycle of crime and incarceration, with devastating effects on families, communities, and the broader economy.
The Pivot Program seeks to break that cycle and recognize this untapped human capital by supporting a set of people who have previously made mistakes, served their time, and are committed to becoming successful leaders and role models in their communities. Our approach is based on the premise that a combination of higher education and employment – together with the social, emotional, and intellectual development that takes place in a university environment – will succeed in preparing returning citizens for positions as both entrepreneurial leaders or productive employees.
The Pivot Program represents a collaboration between Georgetown’s Prisons and Justice Initiative, the McDonough School of Business and Georgetown College with substantial support from the Minority Business Development Agency and the D.C. Department of Employment Services.