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Two organizations receive $400,000 to help inmates return to workforce

by Kristin Coulter | May 04, 2017

For Immediate Release

May 4, 2017

The State Workforce Development Board (SWDB) awarded more than $400,000 in grants to two organizations which will provide employment skills training to inmates, enhancing their chances of finding work upon release and reducing the likelihood of returning to prison.

The two programs receiving funding are Trident Technical College and the Upstate Workforce Investment Board.

“Providing inmates with job training gives them self-confidence, direction and a skill set for their betterment, now and upon release. This will help reduce the recidivism rate, which is lower for people who have jobs, and provide a labor force for key industries across the state,” Gov. Henry McMaster said.

“We are pleased to partner with these two organizations. Helping returning citizens find a job as they leave prison has a tremendous positive impact on their lives by giving them purpose and reducing the possibility that they will be incarcerated again. This reduces the burden on the system and on the taxpayer,” said Cheryl Stanton, executive director of DEW.

Trident Technical College received $250,000 to implement its Veterans’ Education and Transition Support (VETS) re-entry project. The college will serve 48 veteran inmates incarcerated at the MacDougall Correctional Institution in Ridgeville. With an awareness of the special needs of veteran inmates, MacDougall has created a dedicated Veterans Housing Unit and established a specific pre- and post-release program in partnership with federal, state and nonprofit organizations to prepare veterans for successful release.

Trident Technical College will provide job training for the construction industry. Other partners will provide supportive services, professional development seminars, soft skill and work readiness training, housing support, health and wellness activities, and connections to community supports for basic needs assistance and further training opportunities.

The Upstate Workforce Investment Board received a $159,170 grant to serve 32 inmates at the Spartanburg County Detention Center. Working in partnership with the Spartanburg Community College, the board’s Operation Educate project will provide inmates with job training for the construction industry. Project partners will provide soft skills, work-life balance, economic stability, work readiness training and WorkKeys instruction.  

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About DEW

The S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) is putting South Carolinians to work. The agency invests in building a pipeline of quality workers, matches workers with jobs, and is a bridge for individuals who find themselves out of work for no fault of their own. This promotes financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals and communities. DEW is dedicated to advancing South Carolina through services that meet the needs of the state’s businesses, jobseekers and those looking to advance their careers.




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