The APEX program is dedicated to providing opportunities to individuals with criminal histories who wish to obtain gainful employment. The program aims to accomplish this by helping clients through the pardons and expungement process, providing employer education, and advancing legislative reform.
Who we are:
APEX is jointly operated and funded by the Division of Social Services (DSS) and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Our offices are located in Wilmington and Dover, and we also provide services in Georgetown and Seaford. The APEX program is open to the general public, though we are specially focused on assisting individuals with disabilities, TANF (welfare) recipients, and foster youth.
APEX was initiated in February 2012 by the Governor's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Employer's Committee, in partnership with the AmeriCorps VISTA program and the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO).
The TANF Committee is a governor-appointed committee comprised of voting private-sector members which include local employers within the healthcare, manufacturing, and security industries. The supporting state agencies of the Committee include the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Transportation (DelDOT), and Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO).
The mission of the TANF Employer's Committee is to bring together employers and state agencies to assist TANF recipients in their transition from welfare to work. The committee identified criminal records as a significant barrier to entering the workforce for the TANF population. The TANF Committee addressed this barrier by creating of the Advancement through Pardons and Expungements (APEX) Program.
AmeriCorps VISTA is a federal program that funds full-time volunteer positions in government and non-profit agencies, with the goal of enhancing their capacity to fight poverty. From 2011 to 2012, VISTA provided 3 volunteers- Matthew Rosen, Matthew Brandi, and Rachel Guglielmo- who designed, initiated, and operated the program.
During this period, the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) housed the program, and provided it with funding, resources, and support. Sonia Aguilar, Director of Workforce Development served as the program's supervisor, and oversaw its development.
The APEX would like to thank all of our partners, collaborators, and supporters who have made this program possible:
- Our Volunteers and Interns
- The Governor's TANF Employer's Committee
- The Division of Social Services
- The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- The Delaware Economic Development Office
- AmeriCorps VISTA
- The Division of Employment & Training
- The Division of Libraries and the Job Centers @ Delaware Libraries
- The Workforce Investment Board
- The Pardons Project
- The State Bureau of Identification
- The Board of Pardons
- The Kent County Prothonotary's Office
- The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control
- The Female Benevolent Society of Wilmington
- The Advisory Committee of the Wilmington Friends Meeting
- Our Task Force members: Tom Foley, Esq., Neva Anton (Anton Associates), Dave Wilkinson (Wilkinson Associates), Mary Starkweather-White (Pardons Project), Andrew Rahaim, Esq., Carol Aiken (J.R. Gettier & Associates), Carvella Jackson (Christiana Care Health System), James Adams (Attorney General's Office), Phyllis Scully (Attorney General's Office), Renee Rigby (State Bureau of Identification), Jason Sapp (State Bureau of Identification).