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New award from U.S. Department of Labor to support youth from the criminal justice system in transitioning to education and employment

August 17, 2017

Through a new US$4.5 million, three-year award from the U.S. Department of Labor, FHI 360 will assist in improving the education and employment outcomes of more than 560 young adults, ages 18 through 24, who are currently involved in the criminal justice system.

engineer teaching adolescentsAs a key activity, FHI 360 will lead the Compass Rose Collaborative, working with partners in three communities with high rates of poverty and crime. These partners include: City of Los Angeles, Economic and Workforce Development Department in two Los Angeles, California, locations (Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles); Our Piece of the Pie®, Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut; and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment in St. Louis, Missouri.

The collaborative is part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Reentry Project grant program, which supports the improvement and effectiveness of research-based, evidence-informed services that lead to better employment opportunities and outcomes for participants. As part of the Reentry Project, the collaborative will address one of the most serious social problems in the United States: The challenge of assisting young people in successfully entering the workforce and educational systems after involvement in the criminal justice system.

The collaborative will support young people by:

  • Implementing a program model that focuses on providing youth with four services: 1) support services, including assistance obtaining housing, clothing, food, transportation and counseling; 2) legal services; 3) work readiness, preparation and job placement; and 4) educational services
  • Creating lasting community-based partnerships that empower young adults beyond the life cycle of the grant
  • Documenting and replicating effective practices in communities throughout the country through FHI 360’s peer learning communities and the development of tools, resources and webinars 

FHI 360 has extensive experience in developing results-driven workforce development programs. The Compass Rose Collaborative is a continuation of this work. “Through the collaborative, FHI 360 and its community partners are well positioned to significantly improve the lifelong education and career achievements of the young people engaged in the program, which we anticipate will offer spillover benefits to their communities,” said Ivan Charner, Director of FHI 360’s National Institute for Work and Learning. “We also have the opportunity to make a greater impact by replicating the most effective practices in communities across the United States.”

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