US Department of Labor announces $48M in funding available to support pre-release job training, services for incarcerated people
WASHINGTON – With meaningful employment secured, formerly incarcerated people can fully integrate into their communities more successfully and avoid relapse. To help remove barriers to employment the U.S. Department of Labor today announces the availability of $48 million in funding to provide training and employment services to incarcerated individuals before their release from state correctional facilities, or county or local jails.
Authorized by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Pathway Home 4 Grants will fund projects to serve adults convicted under federal, state or local law. The grants will provide reentry services for incarcerated people whose release is scheduled within 20 to 270 days from the time they enroll in the program. Projects will also provide comprehensive services post-release.
The department’s Employee and Training Administration will award up to 15 grant projects – each ranging from $1 million to $4 million – to provide returning citizens with legal assistance, counseling, job search strategies and other foundational skills prior to release and to provide apprenticeships, occupational training that leads to industry-recognized credentials and supportive services once they return to their communities.
The funding availability aligns with the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 Initiative which oversees efforts to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution. President Biden established the goal with the signing of Executive Order 14008.
Pathway Home 4 Grants are designed to help eliminate the time gap between release from prison and enrollment into a workforce development reentry program that leads to skills-based employment. They will expand eligibility to include private non-profit organizations, with a requirement to commit to employing one full-time project manager dedicated to managing the grant. These grants will help advance equity for people who face significant barriers to labor market reentry, including incarcerated women and people from communities of color.