At a time when job openings are hitting record high levels, Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania remains more committed than ever to helping people re-enter the workforce or learn new skills to better position job seekers for future employment. There is no better time to help people than during Second Chance Month. Second Chance Month takes place every April and helps?raise awareness of the barriers and opportunities for people with justice-involvement.
“All month, we are highlighting our ongoing job training and social service offerings that help people who have justice involvement find jobs and support themselves, their families and their communities,” said Rebekah Fombelle, Vice President of Human Services at Goodwill SWPA. We know from our ongoing job training and skills development programming that when people return from correctional facilities and then find and keep good jobs, they build brighter futures for themselves and their families. Goodwill is proud to do its part to help people transition toward advancing in their careers.”
Today, tech jobs are among the most in-demand jobs. Through a variety of partnerships, Goodwill is uniquely positioned to offer a blend of place-based and virtual training for everything from basic digital skills to professional-level certifications such as CompTIA. In addition, Goodwill makes it possible for participants to identify new career paths in information technology, project management, data analytics, social media marketing and more.
The National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) hosts Second Chance Month. The NRRC was established by the Second Chance Act and funds work to improve reentry outcomes nationwide. Recently released data of a study of formerly incarcerated people revealed that a third (33%) of persons in the study population did not find employment at any point during the 16 quarters after their release from prison from 2010 to 2014.
“Goodwill believes all of these individuals deserve a second chance and that one of the best ways to help is to offer work-related programs that allow individuals to become self-reliant,” said Fombelle.
Among the opportunities available to area residents who are reentering the community, Goodwill SWPA offers LifeLaunch Ignite, Pennsylvania Academic Career and Technical Training (PACTT), and FIRE programs. LifeLaunch: Ignite targets young adults ages 18 to 24 who are or have been justice involved and want to work towards a career based on their interest and skills. Those interested should visit: www.goodwillswpa.org/ignite. PACTT is for young adults ages 14-21 who have been involved with the criminal justice system. The program focuses on academics, work-related services, and job skills training. The organization’s Fatherhood FIRE (Family-focused, Interconnected, Resilient, and Essential) offers fellowship and support in a friendly group setting while helping fathers get the skills they need to be positively involved in their children’s lives utilizing the National Fatherhood Initiative’s (NFI) 24/7 Dad® program curriculum. FIRE also assists participants in acquiring job training, employment and job retention. To learn more, visit: www.goodwillswpa.org/fire.
For more information about any of Goodwill SWPA’s mission programs, visit www.goodwillswpa.org/programs-and-services.
This project is supported by the Employment and Training Administration of the United States (U.S.) Department of Labor as part of a grant award to Goodwill Industries International in which Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is a subgrantee to an award totaling $884,197 with 100 percent funded by ETA/DOL. The Federal award number is YF-35054-20-60-A-24. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ETA/DOL.