UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) has received a $3.9 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund its Young Adult Re-Entry Project, a new initiative that seeks to give justice-involved youth the education and training to succeed when they leave the system. The program features a targeted approach that includes technical assistance, training sessions and other activities to improve transitions for youth in the justice system. UnidosUS will partner on this initiative with community organizations in its national Affiliate Network, specifically the Youth Policy Institute in Los Angeles; ConXión to Community in San Jose, California; and the One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico in San Juan.
“This grant offers a much-needed resource for young people who seek to rebuild their lives, but often lack access to the means and guidance they need for a brighter future. We’re confident that the UnidosUS Young Adult Re-Entry Project, in partnership with community groups, will help young adults get good jobs and reduce recidivism,” said Peggy McLeod, EdD, UnidosUS Deputy Vice President of Education and Workforce Development.
The three community organizations working with UnidosUS on this program have years of experience serving court-involved youth, as well as longstanding partnerships with the juvenile justice system, their local education and training institutions, and legal service providers. The grant will specifically fund the work of these Affiliates in their efforts to assist the nearly 500 young adults expected to enroll in the program. Each organization will provide motivational coaching, mentoring and counseling needed to improve professional and educational outcomes for justice-impacted youth.
“We are looking forward to working with our community partners in Los Angeles, San Jose and San Juan, where they are already deeply engaged in helping youth in the justice system. This award allows us to further our work together in a critically important area and reaffirm our mission to improve opportunities for all Americans,” McLeod concluded.