6/20/2014 4:00:09 PM
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $74 million in grants to 37 community service organizations to provide employment, training and support services to successfully re-integrate formerly incarcerated adults and youth involved in the juvenile justice system into their communities. Grantees are expected to provide a range of services that include case management, mentoring, education and training that leads to industry-recognized credentials.
“Under President Obama’s leadership, we are imploding stovepipes and achieving levels of interagency collaboration to help ex-offenders turn around their lives and get back on their feet,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Today’s federal grants will continue to build on this success by expanding services to even more people who want to make a successful transition back into their communities.”
“With more than half a million people being released from state and federal prisons each year, re-entry job training programs like the ones the Labor Department is funding today are a key part of ensuring people coming out of prison have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to successfully re-enter their communities,” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole. “Given that many of these individuals have limited skills and inadequate education, we cannot simply release them and expect that they will, on their own, be able to rebuild their lives and get a job with a livable wage. That’s why programs such as these are so important to ensuring they get a helping hand and a genuine chance to succeed.”
Twenty-one grants, totaling more than $44 million, are being awarded for the second round of the Face Forward initiative, which combines the most promising workforce and juvenile justice strategies available to improve participants’ chances of success. Funded programs will also help to address the stigma of having a juvenile record by offering services to seal juvenile records and providing opportunities to handle delinquency complaints outside of the juvenile justice system.
The remaining funding, totaling $30 million to 17 organizations through the Training to Work – Adult Reentry program, will help men and women participating in state or local work-release programs gain the job skills necessary to succeed in-demand occupations upon reintegrating back into society. The grants also build on the department’s commitment to fund sustainable programs through the career pathways initiative, which better coordinates education and training services to enable workers to attain industry-recognized credentials and find jobs.
Both grant programs target areas with high-poverty and high-crime, and several of the new grantees are located in areas designated as “Promise Zones” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Promise Zones partner with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality and affordable housing, and improve public safety. The Promise Zone initiative builds on President Obama’s commitment to increase collaboration between business and federal, state, tribal and local officials; faith-based and nonprofit organizations; children and parents to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living for every American in every community.
For more information about the department’s Reintegration of Ex-Offender programs, please visit http://www.doleta.gov/RExO/.