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Herbert J Hoelter Vocational Training Center-project workforce development

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $749,997)

Since 1977, the National Center for Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA) has provided reentry services for individuals at risk of re-incarceration. The purpose of NCIA's Herbert J. Hoelter Vocational Training Center (VTC) is to equip unemployed and underemployed adults ages 18-30, including individuals with a history in the justice system, with marketable skill sets, a professional credential, and job placement services which can lead to desirable, financially viable career paths in high-need industries. With the support of over 280 employer and social service provider partners, as well as strong partnerships with correctional facilities, the VTC empowers participants to become productive and fulfilled members of society.

Over three years, funds awarded under this program will support a total of 125 system-involved individuals at moderate to high risk of recidivism, providing vocational training, employment, and supportive services at our Baltimore, MD and Charlotte, NC VTC locations.

Primary program activities include: 1) intake, assessment, and case management; 2) 17-week vocational training; 3) 8-week job readiness training and mentorship, including support to address criminogenic risk factors; 4) 4-week job search training, and 5) job retention and wraparound support services for up to 12 months after program completion. Throughout the process, participants have regular trauma-informed mentorship from case managers who come from similar communities, as well as soft skills training, conflict resolution workshops, barrier removal services, and referrals to social and behavioral supports. The combination of education, participants have no income upon entry into the program. Historic and expected outcomes include an overall graduation and credentialing rate of 75% and a 75% job placement rate after graduation with an average wage of $18/hour. Since inception in 2017, the VTC has served more than 1,600 individuals, helped graduates secure 787 jobs, and scaled to now serve the surrounding regions of both Baltimore, MD and Charlotte, NC. Historically, VTC participants have been 90% reentry, 90% African American, and 100% low-income. With this target demographic in mind, the proposed project is designed to promote racial equity and the removal of barriers to access and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequality.

Date Created: September 28, 2023