Former Inmates Now Have a Chance to Get a Family-Sustaining Job

weldingImage by Jonas Greuter

PENNSYLVANIA — Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Nancy Walker recently unveiled the department’s plans to partner with local organizations in Pennsylvania to create a program for individuals who have been recently released from federal prisons. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s First Step Act initiative, L&I will develop job training and skills-development services within prisons and re-entry centers through specialized partnerships, allowing them to gain important employment and career opportunities. This is an important step toward reducing recidivism in the state, as the program will give former inmates a better chance of pursuing family-sustaining jobs, boosting their quality of life and providing a greater benefit to society as a whole.

“Pennsylvania’s re-entry program will not only help reduce recidivism, but will also advance real opportunity among re-entrants by breaking down barriers to gainful employment,” Acting Secretary Walker said. “Devoting meaningful, employment-driven resources to individuals transitioning back into the community improves self-sufficiency, confidence, and financial independence, and allows them to positively contribute to Pennsylvania’s workforce and the future of our economy.”

With an emphasis on collaboration, L&I will work with local workforce development boards, PA CareerLink® offices, and re-entry specialists to ensure equitable access and continuity of support services at all stages of a re-entrant’s transition back to the community and in their pursuit for quality jobs with family-sustaining wages.

L&I is actively soliciting applications from potential partners for grant funding up to $9.5 million. The deadline to apply is March 20, 2023.

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