WASHINGTON – While the causes are many and the remedies sometimes complex, the reality for young people from ages 10 to 24 in the nation’s underserved communities is sadly simple: violence and poverty is stopping many from realizing their potential and blocking access to equity in education and employment.   

Among non-Hispanic Black and African American youth, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that homicide is the leading cause of death, and the third leading cause for all young people from 10 to 24. Like the survivors of those killed, those who suffer nonfatal assaults must cope with serious, long-term effects on health and wellbeing. The data underscores the critical need to ensure underserved communities have access to resources that provide foundational skills and opportunities needed to succeed in the future.

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor announced an $85 million funding opportunity to support programs that prepare and empower justice-involved youth and young adults with skills training, employment services, educational support and mentorship. The grants focus on youth and young adults impacted by community violence, particularly in areas of concentrated crime and poverty and in communities affected by significant social unrest. 

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the Reentry Employment Opportunities’ program will award approximately 29 grants – ranging from $1.5 to $4 million each – through two competitive rounds. About 50 percent of funds awarded in the second round will go to organizations receiving a reentry employment opportunities grant for the first time. By doing so, the department is seeking to ensure an equitable process for new grant applicants.

Coordinated by workforce development organizations and justice system partners, the program is designed to enable grantees to improve participants’ conflict resolution skills and self-perception, and foster the necessary discipline for achievement of longer-term goals.

Learn more about the Reentry Employment Opportunities program.

Get more information on grant eligibility and how to apply.

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