Re-Entry Program Receives $5.5 Million Federal Grant

Press Releases / June 24, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Greg Ballard today announced that Workforce, Inc., a partner with the City’s Office of Re-Entry, will receive a $5.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help ex-offenders in Marion County receive job training and support.

“The City of Indianapolis is committed to helping prepare and create opportunities for ex-offenders to find full-time, gainful employment,” said Mayor Ballard. “Workforce, Inc.’s focus on transitioning individuals through work-readiness and self-sufficiency positions participants for success.”

The grant provides $256,961 to the City’s Office of Re-Entry Transitional Jobs program to cover positions associated with the City’s role in administration of the grant. The grant funds were authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, a measure supported by Congressman André Carson, and will be used to supplement Workforce, Inc.’s efforts to offer transitional jobs through its electronic waste recycling company, RecycleForce.

“Most ex-offenders just want the opportunity to work hard and live responsibly,” said Congressman Carson. “But employment roadblocks can lead to a return to trouble. This funding will help Workforce, Inc. continue ensuring that a person’s past doesn’t impede his or her future.”

Workforce, Inc. was one of seven organizations selected among 80 applicants from across the country for the grants totaling $39.7 million. Each grant covers a period of up to 48 months, including approximately three months for initial implementation, up to two years for enrollment, and 12-21 months of activity for the 500 program participants per grantee randomly assigned to receive enhanced transitional jobs services.

“We are extremely grateful to the U.S. Department of Labor and all of the local and state partners who made this grant possible,” said Gregg Keesling, president of Workforce, Inc. “Without the training and necessary life skills, more than half of those individuals released from prison in Marion County will re-offend and be sent back to the criminal justice system. Our program is designed to break that cycle by providing employment, teaching job skills and preaching individual responsibility. Our success in helping these ex-offenders re-integrate into society ultimately means safer communities and a stronger workforce.”

Paula Freund
Press Secretary
Office of Mayor Greg Ballard – City of Indianapolis; C: (317) 464-7112