The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $20 million in grants through its Civic Justice Corps program. Projects funded through these grants will help juvenile offenders gain valuable jobs skills, and participants will demonstrate accountability for their actions through community service.
"Some young people stray from the paths of career, family and community, but that need not dictate the rest of their lives," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Connecting young offenders with opportunities to acquire solid job skills is a crucial step toward ensuring their long-term economic self-sufficiency and allows them to take a positive role in our society."
That's all very well and good for the offenders, but you can't help but wonder where the funds are for the kids that stayed out of trouble. Some people argue that they don't need the help as much, but the societal norm is to reward good behavior, not bad behavior. Will students get more help after breaking the law than they would if they kept their noses clean?
The DOL says that these grants will be awarded through a competitive process and will prepare participants for employment and reduce recidivism. The opportunities will include on-the-job training, job placement, subsidized jobs and service projects that allow young offenders to take a positive role in their communities. Participants will improve their skills, and enhance their future educational and career opportunities, through the work experiences, vocational training and academic interventions made possible by these grants.
The department expects to award a minimum of 13 grants through this funding opportunity. Any nonprofit organization, unit of state or local government, and Indian or Native American entity eligible for grants under the Workforce Investment Act's Section 166 may apply for these grants.
Details can be found at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm. While you're there, you might look for grants that reward students for academic excellence and community service.