Over $1M in grant funds awarded for LifeLaunch
For Immediate Release:
July 8, 2016
Ana Rummer, Communications Manager, Goodwill Central Texas, 512.637.7538
Goodwill Central Texas awarded over $1M in grant funds for LifeLaunch, to assist justice-involved young adults
AUSTIN, TX — Goodwill Central Texas (GCT) was one of five Goodwill® organizations awarded a grant for more than $4M from the U.S. Department of Labor to improve employment and reduce recidivism among justice-involved young adults. The Goodwill organization’s communities will benefit from a $4.5 million grant to establish the Goodwill LifeLaunch young adult reentry program to provide access to employment, training opportunities and support services for 575 young adults, between the ages of 18 to 24.
Goodwill Central Texas (Austin), Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit (MI) Goodwill Industries of Houston (TX), Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (Johnstown, PA), and Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana (New Orleans) will operate the LifeLaunch program to support young adults who are currently or were formerly involved with the juvenile or adult justice system. Goodwill Central Texas will serve 150 youth. LifeLaunch will be 80 percent federally funded; the remaining 20 percent is from non-governmental sources. This grant is part of a larger $64.5 million package of grants, representing the Obama Administration’s efforts to help break the cycle of poverty, crime and incarceration in America.
“Many of us need second chances for success. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 650,000 people are released from prison every year,” said Wendi Copeland, senior vice president of strategy and advancement at Goodwill Industries International. “The five local autonomous Goodwill organizations operating the LifeLaunch program will expand and enhance their skills training and employment services for young adults returning to their communities.”
Traci Berry, Senior Vice President of Education and Community Engagement with Goodwill of Central Texas adds: “Goodwill Central Texas is proud to be a part of LifeLaunch. This funding will help us ensure these young adults have a clear shot at a second chance. We are committed to removing obstacles for people with criminal backgrounds and to meet the employment and training needs of Central Texas businesses. Linking them together strengthens individuals, families, and our community.”
Designed to disrupt justice involvement among young adults, the LifeLaunch program provides rewarding and engaging alternatives that lead to employment, career advancement and the reduced risk of recidivism. Additionally, this program will prepare young adults with the academic competencies and credentials needed in the 21st century labor market, including providing access to high school diplomas or equivalents, postsecondary training, credentials aligned with local labor market demand, service learning opportunities, and paid work-based learning that contributes to employment readiness and provides real-world learning while doing.
Ms. Berry continued, “Goodwill Central Texas believes in the power of work. As the expert in workfrorce advancement for nearly six decades, we’ve learned what studies have echoed: employment, education, and housing are leading indicators of long-term success for people with criminal backgrounds. LifeLaunch will help create opportunities for these young individuals to thrive, while strengthening our economy and community. It’s just one more way we’re living out our vision of empowering 100,000 Central Texans to transform their lives through work.”
The Goodwill LifeLaunch program design is based on research that demonstrates young people who have structured, progressive activities and experiences are better able to establish social, emotional, physical and cognitive competencies needed for success in their adult lives. LifeLaunch incorporates principles of positive youth development that improve a young adult’s ability to be productive in civil society.
For more information from the U.S. Department of Labor, visit https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20160624.
About Goodwill Central Texas:
Goodwill Central Texas is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to generating lifelong connections to work. Revenue generated through the sale of donated goods is used to fund education opportunities, career-readiness training, and placement services for Central Texans. For more information about Goodwill Central Texas, go to www.goodwillcentraltexas.org.