U.S. Department of Labor awards $20 million to help adult inmates prepare to enter the workforce

Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Labor awarded grants totaling $20 million to provide job training for inmates aged 18 and older participating in state or local work-release programs.

The grants are part of the Training to Work-Adult Reentry initiative, which seeks to provide work skills, education, and supportive services to improve the long-term employment prospects of soon-to-be-released inmates.

"The grants announced today will help incarcerated adults build a bridge to their communities and improve their chances of success in life," said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. "Through the Training to Work program, the participants have a better chance of attaining employment by acquiring industry-recognized credentials, and as a result are more likely to positively contribute to their communities."

Sixteen grants were awarded to nonprofit organizations around the country. Grantees are expected to help participants obtain high school diplomas (or equivalent) and industry-recognized credentials. The grant programs will focus on in-demand occupations in which ex-offenders are eligible to work within the local communities. These grants require the inclusion of components such as workforce development activities, training leading to industry-recognized credentials, education, case management, mentoring, and follow-up services to help reduce recidivism and lead to long-term success.

Grants were awarded through a competitive process open to nonprofit organizations with Internal Revenue Code 501(c) (3) status and proven success in implementing the key components of the grants in communities with high poverty and crime rates. The grants will cover 39 months, which include six months of planning and 33 months of operation. The funds also must provide for a minimum of nine months of follow-up services for each participant.

For more information on the Department of Labor's Reintegration of Ex-Offender training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov/RExO/aboutRExO.cfm.

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