10 July 2023- Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Nancy A. Walker today announced awards totaling more than $5 million in grant funding to support nine youth reentry programs that prepare young Pennsylvanians for employment or post-secondary education and aim to reduce the recidivism rate in Pennsylvania.
With this grant funding, nine local workforce development boards (LWDBs) – in partnership with Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system, PA CareerLink® offices, community organizations and academic programs – will recruit, re-engage, and assist young adults ages 18-24 who were formerly incarcerated or have interacted with Pennsylvania’s judicial system.
“Youth reentry programs not only give young people the tools and meaningful resources needed to gain lifelong skills and a good-paying job, but also help local employers reach an untapped labor pool,” said Secretary Walker. “On behalf of L&I, I want to thank the LWDBs for prioritizing young Pennsylvanians’ success and helping them overcome challenges, strengthen their communities, and ultimately reach their fullest potential.”
The programs will provide in-demand job training, re-entry support services, mentorship, higher education opportunities, and family-sustaining career pathways – all of which align with Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal of $4 million to invest in probation and parole services for all Pennsylvanians and reduce recidivism in Pennsylvania.
The following LWDBs and youth reentry programs were awarded funding at 100% with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act statewide activity funds.
- Berks County Workforce Development Board (Berks County) – $800,000
- Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Development Board (Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, Wyoming counties) – $800,000
- North Central Workforce Development Board (Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter counties) – $256,400
- South Central Workforce Development Board (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lebanon, Perry, York counties) – $450,000
- Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board (Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Somerset counties) – $800,000
- Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board (Washington, Greene counties) – $300,000
- Three Rivers Workforce Development Board (Allegheny County) – $799,515
- West Central Workforce Development Board (Lawrence, Mercer counties) – $250,000
- Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Development Board (Fayette, Westmoreland counties) – $651,277
The Youth Reentry grant program will be funded for two years through June 2025.