The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $20 million in grant funds to provide employment-related training and support services to youth who have been involved in the juvenile justice system. The purpose of these grants is to improve the long-term labor market prospects for former offenders, ages 14 and older, in high-poverty, high-crime areas by focusing on training for in-demand industries and occupations within their communities.
Any nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status and the capacity to implement multisite, multistate projects may apply for these grants.
"Mistakes made at a young age should not mean a lifetime of lost opportunities," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The programs to be funded by these grants will give young people who have gotten off-track the tools, support and opportunities to positively contribute to their communities."
Awarded through a competitive process, the grants will be used to fund programs that incorporate components such as workforce development, education and training, case management, mentoring, restorative justice and community-wide violence reduction. Additionally, grant recipients are expected to develop community connections that result in opportunities for young former offenders to rebuild trust and become known as valuable contributors to their communities.
The Labor Department anticipates awarding four grants of about $5 million each. Each grantee will be required to competitively select local subgrantees to operate the funded program in a minimum of three high-poverty, high-crime communities in at least two states.
A solicitation for grant applications will be published in the March 16 edition of the Federal Register. To view it online, visit http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm. For information on the Department of Labor's range of employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov.