Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $726,623)
The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) is a data driven agency that endures to help the inmates in its charge with the goal of making their lives better. Critical steps towards success include changes in personal habits, cognitive development, and professional skill building through a collaborative effort to create a new path towards future success post-release. The Career Employment Reentry Project leverages the current strengths of VADOC and its staff to provide a cohesive vocational and reentry program that ties all of the elements of success together for the inmates it is supporting. This project focuses on the students in five existing established welding programs, adding a new mobile welding program with a Business Developer to focus on career and professional outcomes in the welding industry. The ever-growing welding industry is one that requires an influx of skilled workers to help rebuild the infrastructure of the country and provides opportunities for progressive growth career opportunities.
The Career Employment Reentry project utilizes a target approach in delivering services to inmates through the implementation of assessments to determine levels of career readiness and professional development. This project equips inmates with not only a high demand industry certification but also critical soft skills needed to thrive and be successful in the workforce. Through collaborations with a local community college, eligible inmates will have the opportunity to receive continuing education college credits. Additionally in a means of providing a holistic approach to reentering society and the workforce, inmates will receive direct connections to resources and services providers in the community who aid in eliminating barriers to obtaining and maintain employment.
This new direct agency collaboration would aide those preparing for release to society to secure career opportunities in the welding industry and set the students on the right path for sustained success, provide increased public safety to the community, and an overall lower recidivism rate.
VADOC will utilize cutting edge technology and collaboration to augment a current and established welding curriculum and marry it to a cognitive development and soft skills curriculum to aid the welding students to be highly skilled, well rounded, and prepared for successful entry to the workforce. The internal and external collaborations will foster the growth of the students in the program and the workforce they enter.
- Rescue and Recovery Reentry Project for Men of Color. (RARCRP)
- Eastern KY CEP will facilitate Comprehensive, Collaborative Community Supports to Improve Crisis Stabilization and Reentry Success among women and Rural KY jails.
- CSGJC helping communities nationally to adopt and scale evidence-based and data-driven approaches to ensure successful reentry for people with substance use disorders and other complex needs