- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $125,000 in Workforce Development Grants for Inmate Re-Entry Programming
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston, MA — Effort aims to reduce recidivism and chronic unemployment amongst incarcerated populations
Boston, MA – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $125,000 in Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Program grants for employment programming for incarcerated populations. These re-entry grants will provide funding to organizations in Holyoke, Gardner, and Boston for pre and post prison release services including job training for former prisoners, transportation services, and drug abuse resources.
“Leveraging community-based organizations’ ability to engage individuals and
employers locally can improve workforce readiness for those re-entering society and their communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This program’s focus on evidence-based outcomes will help us tailor strategies to best prepare those who have served their time to find employment and support themselves and their families.”
“Facilitating one-on-one relationships between case workers and inmates preparing to re-enter the workforce has the opportunity and potential to further reduce recidivism, while providing high-demand skills that allow individuals to compete for the jobs employers are working to fill,” said Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito.
The Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Program is an outcome of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Task Force on Economic Opportunity for Populations Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment, chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Rosalin Acosta. The Task Force found that individuals within prison populations experienced complex needs that require intensive interventions for them to be successful in securing and maintaining employment. Access to adequate re-entry services was identified as a barrier to employment that disproportionally impacts the target populations and leads to greater recidivism.
Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta noted, “This effort will help improve workforce outcomes among individuals returning to their communities after incarceration. The awardees all have a proven track record of providing comprehensive support services and these grants will help address some of the Commonwealth’s most challenging employment issues.”
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) contracted with Commonwealth Corporation to administer funding to support re-entry programming.
The following is a complete list of the organizations awarded Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Program grants:
Project Place was awarded $41,500.00 to provide training within their Industry Internship and Career Reentry Program which focuses on preparing individuals for positions in logistics, transportation, warehousing/distribution, and construction.
Mount Wachusett Community College was awarded $41,500.00 to provide transportation services and Industry Readiness Training through an employer partnership with Advanced Cable Ties in Gardner.
CareerPoint was awarded $42,000.00 to connect incarcerated populations to employment training and substance abuse resources in association with the Hamden County Sheriff’s Department.