Workforce, Inc. awarded over $5 million to assist offender re-entry program
The Department of Labor today awarded a $5.5 million grant to Workforce, Inc., a local non-profit that helps ex-offenders transition back into the community via job training and supporting services.
The grant funds were authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, a measure supported by Congressman Carson, and will be used to supplement Workforce, Inc.'s efforts to offer transitional jobs through its electronic waste recycling company, RecycleForce. Workforce, Inc. was one of seven organizations selected among 80 applicants from across the country.
"Most ex-offenders just want the opportunity to work hard and live responsibly," said Congressman Carson. "But employment roadblocks can lead to a return to trouble. This funding will help Workforce, Inc. continue ensuring that a person's past doesn't impede his or her future."
With nearly 5,000 people every year returning to Marion County from our state's correctional system, Carson has emphasized the need for programs that help ex-offenders halt the cycle of recidivism.
"We are extremely grateful to the U.S. Department of Labor and all of the local and state partners who made this grant possible," said Gregg Keesling, President of Workforce, Inc. "Without the training and necessary life skills, more than half of those individuals released from prison in Marion County will re-offend and be sent back to the criminal justice system. Our program is designed to break that cycle by providing employment, teaching job skills and preaching individual responsibility.
"Our success in helping these ex-offenders re-integrate into society ultimately means safer communities and a stronger workforce."