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The state Department of Labor & Industry has awarded $5.8 million in Youth Reentry Demonstration Project grants to 10 local workforce development boards.

The programs combine academic and job training, provide connections to area employers in high-priority jobs, support mentorships and create connections to education and training.

“This investment will help those who have interacted with the justice system to get the skills they need for a good job and to build a career,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “Education and job training are crucial to removing barriers to work so people can put their lives back on track and build a stronger workforce in Pennsylvania.”

Two of those workforce development boards are in this area.

L&I awarded a $500,000 grant to the Youth Reentry Cooperative Network, a collaborative project between the Southwest Corner and Westmoreland-Fayette boards. The program will provide post-secondary education, soft-skills training and advanced training for 18- to 24-year-olds from Washington, Greene, Fayette, Beaver and Westmoreland counties who have been incarcerated or subjected to the justice system.

Three Rivers Workforce Development Board has been awarded a $527,464 grant to create a partnership among Partner4Work, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Auberle, Allegheny County Jail Collaborative and local programs that are designed for young adults in foster care. Young adults will be provided justice system involvement opportunities for workforce training programs linked directly to employers.

The Youth Reentry Demonstration Project is fully funded through federal money made available from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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