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News Release

Labor Department announces availability of $5M in grants to help at-risk youth explore career pathways in justice careers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $5 million in Pathways to Justice Careers’ grants to provide career training for 16- to 21-year-old youth at risk of dropping out of high school, becoming involved in the criminal justice system, or already hampered by juvenile records. 

The department will award approximately five grants of up to $1 million each to eligible organizations for programs that expose at-risk youth to justice and emergency services careers, mentor and encourage participants to complete their education and provide services that help them avoid engaging or re-engaging with the criminal justice system.

“Our work is guided by the notion that the promise of America lies in our ability to ensure that the future shines brightly for our youth,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “We truly are at our finest as a nation when each of us, regardless of circumstances, has the ability to aspire toward our highest and best dreams. These grants will help our youth make the best out of their lives, and put them on a pathway toward successful careers.”

Pathways to Justice Careers’ grantees will utilize service strategies individualized for each participant. These strategies should detail the steps needed to complete a career pathway program, and show the spectrum of job options in various fields such as police officers or detectives, forensic science technicians, probation officers, paralegals, law clerks, court reporters, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

The grants announced today build on other efforts, including the department’s “Face Forward” initiative to help justice-involved youth overcome early barriers to employment through occupational training and credentials that will help them open the door to career success. This grant’s goal also aligns closely with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative which seeks to close opportunity gaps still faced by too many young people and often by boys and young men of color.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement, which includes information about how to apply, is available at

Employment and Training Administration
April 7, 2016
Release Number