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The U.S. Department of Labor today announced its intent to make available approximately $65 million in funding for Reentry Project grants geared toward adults who have been involved in the justice system. The grants are administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

Signed into law on Dec. 21, 2018, the First Step Act reforms the criminal justice system and takes steps to reduce recidivism. A key goal of the legislation is to ensure successful reentry of ex-offenders into the community. In his 2020 State of the Union Address, President Donald J. Trump expressed his continued commitment to advancing reform efforts to prevent crime, improve reentry, and reduce recidivism.

“When President Trump talks about bringing Americans off the sidelines, he’s talking about all Americans, including men and women who are reentering the workforce after serving time in the justice system,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “This funding opportunity offers a second chance to Americans who have been in the justice system and are now entering a new phase of their lives.”

In the past two years, the department has awarded more than $170 million in Reentry Projects grants nationwide that provide a fresh start and a second chance for formerly incarcerated individuals.

The funding availability announced today is Pathway Home, an adult-focused grant to provide $65 million in funding for organizations to provide workforce services to incarcerated individuals prior to release from a correctional facility. The grant continues services after release by transitioning the participants into reentry programs in the communities to which they will return. The grants will serve adults ages 18 or older who will be released from a state correctional facility or county or local jail within 20 to 180 days of enrollment into the program. This grant announcement is currently open.

“We know that 95 percent of everyone currently in prison will be released at some point back into our neighborhoods and communities. Reducing recidivism is tied to a meaningful job. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration recognizes the dignity of work, especially for the forgotten men and women of America,” said Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training John Pallasch.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement is available here.

ETA administers federal government job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are provided primarily through state and local workforce development systems.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.