Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)
The Structured Economic Employment Development Corporation (Seedco) proposes to implement the Intersecting Meaningful Placement and Career Training (IMPACT) initiative, adapting 18 years of experience operating reentry programs in Shelby County, TN and other services in the Memphis region. The purpose is to increase its ability to meet the intense demand for its reentry employment-based services for individuals with differing levels of justice involvement in Shelby Country, and to expand access to such services to individuals in the underserved contiguous counties of Fayette, Tipton, and Haywood (greater Memphis metropolitan area). Project activities include a continuum of pre- and post-release services to facilitate seamless transition back to the community: criminogenic risk and needs assessments, individual service planning, intensive case management, job training, career planning, job placement, retention, and post-employment support. Expected outcomes include: 190 participants complete assessment process (enrolled), individual service plan, and pre-release job training; 95 (50%) enroll in a training or certification program; 76 (80%) placed in employment and receive employment support; and 57 (75%) retain employment for at least 6 months; and less than 5% recidivate within 12 months post-release. Adult men and women ages 25 or older are the intended beneficiaries of the project.
Seedco’s IMPACT program will provide services under Category 2: Improving Employment Services and Connections. Given proposed implementation in the Memphis metropolitan region, all participants served will represent historically underserved and marginalized populations. Career planning will begin immediately following completion of the ORAS assessment and will be further refined during “Seedco University”, an internally developed job readiness and soft skills training conducted pre-release, and during job placement and on-going development support post-release. IMPACT will build Seedco’s strong relationships with correctional facilities and community-based partners and the Mid-South Career Pathways Collaborative (CPC), a local employer network with 100+ employer partners and community- and faith-based organization partners, that is open to hiring individuals with justice involvement. Seedco utilized labor market information and obtained direct input from employers and training providers in the Memphis region and the CPC to identify training programs and job categories in high-growth, high-demand sectors. The analysis includes current availability within the following industries: transportation/ warehouse/ logistics, food industry, construction, retail, home health, and manufacturing. Seedco and the CPC will engage with participants’ employers to ensure proper placements, workforce development supports, and employment mentoring supports, as needed, serve participants’ economic mobility.