Safer Foundation Issues Midwest Re-Entry and Employment Network Request for Proposals (RFP)

The Safer Foundation plans to award pass-through funds--up to four community grants-- ranging from $125,000 to $250,000 per year for three years, to organizations that will provide services to help improve the employability of court-involved youth 17-24. Services will be provided in at least two states, with targeted areas of Chicago; St. Louis; Milwaukee; and Davenport, Iowa.

Safer Foundation Extends RFP deadline

Applications must be received by September 24

Program Purpose

All Federal workforce and training investments are designed to equip job seekers with skills that increase their ability to find work and earn higher wages, by meeting the skill requirements of actual jobs that employers either are filling now or anticipate filling in the future. These DOL-funded MREN Community grants will build on existing promising practices to assist youth participants, such as earning industry-recognized credentials in demand occupations and sectors, providing on-the-job training (OJT) and work-based learning opportunities, and strengthening industry and employer connections to ensure that the training program directly aligns with the skills and credentials needed to secure employment. Successful grantees will use real-time labor market information to make the best choices about training in in-demand sectors and occupations. Grantees will share this labor market information with youth participants, so they understand what it takes to get hired and earn enough to thrive in their communities as productive citizens throughout their lifetimes. Grantees must develop an integrated approach to recruiting participants and providing the skilled employees needed in their workforce area.

Program Requirements

Using pass-through funds issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Midwest Re-Entry and Employment Network (MREN) Community Grants will help educate, train and prepare 625 court-involved youth in high-poverty, high-crime communities. Organizations that apply for the grants will develop programs that combine the most promising workforce and juvenile justice strategies. They must be capable of providing core services that include youth intensive case management, mentoring, educational interventions, service learning, occupational training in demand industries, workforce development and follow-up services.

Grantees will be required to provide expungement and diversion services, which research confirms are proven or promising strategies that improve life outcomes for court-involved youth. Grantees must collaborate with the local components of the juvenile justice system to ensure court-involved youth receive referrals into programs as a means of diverting the youth’s juvenile charge(s), and collaborate with non-profit legal services organizations to provide legal services that assist program participants with expungement.

Organizations may only submit one application in response to this solicitation. Successful applicants will demonstrate successful collaborative partnerships/networks to meet the grant requirements for comprehensive service delivery.

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