$63M in grants to provide workforce training, support for people returning from jail, prison

from Preempt Corp.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with the Department of Justice, today announced the award of more than $63 million in funding to enhance the Bureau of Prisons’ existing rehabilitation and reentry efforts by partnering with workforce agencies in 11 additional states.

The Partners for Reentry Opportunities in Workforce Development grants will provide support for people in federal custody to prepare them to succeed once they return to their communities and rejoin the workforce. Research shows that securing quality employment is a top challenge for formerly incarcerated people and that employment reduces the risk of recidivism. Good jobs produce more successful reentries while strengthening public safety and the community and economy at-large.Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration – and in partnership with the Bureau of Prisons – these grants will expand access to mentoring, coaching, employment and training programs and other support services to people in federal custody before and after their release. Grant recipients will leverage state-tested, evidence-based strategies for coordination among federal, state and local public safety and workforce agencies.


“The funding in these Partners for Reentry Opportunities in Workforce Development grants for people in federal custody will implement state-tested strategies that have been shown to expand access to quality employment and reduce recidivism. They are an innovative and effective model of partnering with states to provide pre- and post-release employer-driven workforce training and wraparound services that support successful reentry and enhanced public safety,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “These grants will help connect people returning home with good jobs and careers, while meeting the needs of the local labor market, which will strengthen economic well-being for our communities.”


Since its inaugural round in 2022, the program has supported workforce agencies in Arizona, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Today’s awards expand the program to fund the delivery of services in Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Director Colette S. Peters stated, “The Federal Bureau of Prisons recognizes one of the most significant barriers individuals in our custody face is the ability to secure employment upon release. The PROWD Grant program expands access to targeted employment services and programs within our facilities, improves employment outcomes for returning citizens, enhances public safety, and increases the capacity of justice and workforce partnerships.”


The awards will support the delivery of pre- and post-release services to participants in three stages: Stage one: Training and supportive reentry services offered to people before their federal prison release to a residential reentry center or home confinement. Stage two: Training and job placement services and supportive reentry services provided to people after their transition to a reentry center or home confinement. Stage three: Additional supportive reentry and employment services, including on-the-job-training, provided to participants once they transition into the community after their full release.


The Reentry Opportunities in Workforce Development grant recipients are as follows:
Round 1 Expansion
Arizona Department of Economic Security Phoenix AZ $3,994,496.
California Workforce Development BoardSacramentoCA$4,000,000
Michigan Dept. of Labor & Economic Opportunity, Workforce Development Lansing MI $2,000,000 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Saint Paul MN $3,000,000 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Harrisburg PA$1,500,000
Total $14,494,496
Round 2
Alabama Department of CommerceMontgomeryAL$6,507,557
Colorado Department of Labor and EmploymentDenverCO$4,235,032
Kansas Department of CommerceTopekaKS$3,834,170
Mississippi Department of Employment SecurityJacksonMS$8,300,667
Montana Department of Labor and IndustryHelenaMT$1,834,832
New York Department of LaborAlbanyNY$4,103,310
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce DevelopmentNashvilleTN$4,448,464
Texas Workforce CommissionAustinTX$4,639,713
Washington Department of Employment SecurityOlympiaWA$6,256,524
Workforce West VirginiaCharlestonWV$3,719,191
District of Columbia Department of Employment ServicesWashingtonDC$852,446
Total $48,731,906