Pennsylvania Invests $9.5 Million in Groundbreaking Reentry Program

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PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) recently awarded $9.5 million in grant funding to Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies to support a first-of-its-kind reentry program designed to help individuals formerly incarcerated in federal prisons pursue family-sustaining employment and ultimately reduce recidivism in Pennsylvania.

With grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s First Step Act initiative via the Employment and Training Administration and in partnership with L&I, Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies will lead a robust system of job training, skills-development and support services within minimum- and low-security federal prisons and re-entry centers, tailored to improve employment outcomes for re-entrants and address specific labor shortages across the Commonwealth – a key priority of Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal.

“Reentry programs that support individuals returning to the community benefit everyone, including that person’s family and their greater community,” L&I Acting Secretary Nancy Walker said. “On behalf of L&I, I look forward to collaborating with Goodwill of Southern Alleghenies and applaud their commitment to improving self-sufficiency and reducing recidivism in Pennsylvania, while breaking down barriers to gainful employment.”

Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies will operate as the lead agency for the statewide reentry program, titled ReSTART Statewide Reentry Program. The non-profit organization, located in Johnstown, is one of eight independent Goodwill affiliate agencies across the Commonwealth that make up the PA Goodwill Collaborative – a community-based network providing pre- and post-release services to formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.

Through the ReSTART Statewide Reentry Program, Goodwill of Southern Alleghenies will partner with PA CareerLink® offices and re-entry specialists to help participants restore confidence and financial independence, successfully transition back to their communities and positively contribute to Pennsylvania’s workforce in their pursuit for in-demand, family-sustaining jobs.

The First Step Act Initiative grant program will be funded for three years through March 2026.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, please visit its website.

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