The Center for People in Need received a $1.785 million grant from the Nebraska Department of Correctional Service’s Vocational and Life Skills Program (VLS) to provide critical reentry services to soon-to-be released and formerly incarcerated individuals. The Center will receive $595,000 annually, renewable for the next three years, to support the Tackling Recidivism and Developing Employability (TRADE) program.
“We are honored to continue our work assisting soon-to-be-released and formerly incarcerated individuals with finding stable employment and reintegrating in their communities,” said TRADE manager, Kimberly Wimberly.
TRADE provides job-skill training and community support to help formerly incarcerated individuals reestablish themselves and earn a stable income. Participants may receive training in forklift operation or welding, and new this year, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or online classes from toolingu.com, an online manufacturing training company.
“Training and education is crucial to reducing recidivism,” said Chris Funk, executive director. “With the TRADE program, we provide for an individual’s basic needs, like food and clothing, while connecting them to the job skills necessary to find and hold meaningful employment through reentry and beyond,” she said.
Services offered through VLS and the Center’s TRADE program are available at no cost to participants. Individuals may access the services for up to 18 months after release. In 2019, 351 individuals participated in the TRADE program.