Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)
Workforce Alliance, the Workforce Development Board for the South Central Connecticut region proposes to implement the Pathway Home program to significantly enhance WA's role as the region's main provider of community-based employment services for reentering individuals. Pathway Home will
Provide career services to 150 inmates and reentering adults by: recruiting, enrolling, and assessing participants before release; assessing each participant’s career needs and aspirations, and collaboratively developing participants' IDPs; providing workforce services to support credential attainment and/or employment in a targeted sector inside prison and continuing post-release; placing 35% of participants in work-based learning or training programs; and placing 75% of participants in jobs
Enhance WA's reentry program elements by: incorporating the Urban Leagues entrepreneurship program into the schedule of program offerings; and developing a plan to place individuals in Paid Work Experience Opportunities
Reduce the rate of recidivism for participants by: screening using DOC’s evidence-based risk and needs assessment; providing person-centered case management; supporting participants following their IDP during job readiness or training programs through employment placement; and ensuring a seamless transition from prison through job readiness or training programs and placement into and retention in employment
Build on existing relationships to change the narrative around reentering individuals by sharing success stories from current employers and partners to encourage changes in hiring practices.
Pathway will serve at least 150 individuals incarcerated by DOC and scheduled for release to Workforce Alliance's 30-town service area in South Central CT. Population in this diverse (729,015 people) is concentrated in the five urban municipalities (48%) to where 84.7% of prisoners return. The 2019 regional poverty rate was 10.2%, compared to 26.5% in New Haven where approximately 46.5% of participants are expected to return. 41.5% of returnees between 2015 and 2021 returned to Census Tracts with poverty rates over 20%. Currently 1,138 individuals from the region are sentenced to DOC facilities, primarily from New Haven (641, 56%), with 86.6% from the five largest cities. 2,268 inmates were released to the region—more than 927 of whom were released to New Haven—from 2019 to May 2021, an average of 78 per month.