Goodwill program helps young adults go from jail to a job

 

December 21, 2020



Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is helping young adults that are currently or have been justice system involved and reside within Allegheny County transition to new jobs as part of a training program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite reentry program is designed to provide job skills and career training services for those aged 18 to 24 with a past criminal history. Goodwill SWPA is one of four Goodwill organizations in the country to offer LifeLaunch: Ignite.

“Landing job opportunities for people with criminal histories has always been challenging, but never more so than now,” said Tiffanee Heywood, director of Youthworks at Goodwill SWPA. “Given the tough job market due to COVID-19, those in our community looking for a second chance will benefit greatly from LifeLaunch: Ignite.”


The new reentry program will serve 105 Allegheny County residents between the ages of 18 and 24 who have been involved with in the criminal justice system. A total of 415 young adults will participate across all four cities involved in the program. Goodwill SWPA was chosen for the grant based on community need, its experience in reentry and young adult services; and strong partnerships with community colleges, local criminal justice systems and employers.

Each of the four participating cities will have employment training programs that focus on in-demand jobs in local industries.

 Among the program’s goals are to keep recidivism rates at or below 20 percent, to help 60 percent of young adults attain a credential, and 60 percent obtain employment or enter post-secondary education upon program completion. Goodwill will track program participants after completion of LifeLaunch: Ignite to measure accurately program success.

The program will operate for approximately 24 months, with a 12-month period for follow-up services. As part of the DOL’s Young Adult Reentry Program, LifeLaunch: Ignite will strengthen Pittsburgh by helping participants become productive, contributing members of the community; gain long-term, financially sustaining employment; find stable homes; and address any potential substance abuse or mental health needs.

Young adults who want more information or want to enroll in the program can contact Whitney Miles at 412-632-1742 or e-mail: whitney.miles@goodwillswpa.org.

 

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