New $10 Million Program Will Assist Incarcerated Re-enter Society

Governor Wolf announced the creation of a $10 million program to help incarcerated individuals develop the necessary skills to successfully re-enter society. 

PENNSYLVANIA STATE | On Wednesday, Oct. 05, 2022, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania will implement a new program that provides opportunities for inmates to develop skills through a network of job training and skills-development services. Re-entry specialists and training instructors at low-security federal prisons in Pennsylvania will provide inmates the vocational education before release. It intends to reduce recidivism among formerly incarcerated individuals. The program will be funded through a $10 Million federal grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s First Step Act initiative via the Employment and Training Administration

“The ability to secure high-quality, family-sustaining employment is a key part of success for re-entrants returning to their communities after incarceration and is a powerful tool in reducing recidivism,” said Gov. Wolf. “The First Step Act initiative not only supports a successful transition into society, but it allows re-entrants to build meaningful relationships with employers and helps address new and ongoing workforce challenges amidst a historically tight labor market. My administration’s commitment to training and supporting individuals at every step of the re-entry process is an undeniable investment in the well-being of re-entrants and the communities they live in.”

The project will begin immediately as a collaborative effort among L&I, the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Pennsylvania Reentry Council, local workforce development boards, nonprofit re-entry services, along with coalitions, individual employers and employer groups. Pennsylvania will also work with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in this first-of-its-kind partnership. It will also see collaboration from federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities and residential re-entry centers, aiming to improve participants’ employment outcomes while strengthening communities where programs operate.

For more information about community re-entry and transitional services, visit the DOC’s workforce development page.