Seedco and Bon Secours Community Works Awarded $1.36 Million Grant by the U.S. Department of Labor for Career Pathways Programs

(Baltimore, Maryland) (July 14, 2016)- The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $1.36 million, three-year Training to Work 3 – Adult Re-entry grant to Seedco and Bon Secours Community Works to lead the creation of the West Baltimore, Maryland Career Pathways Collaborative (WBCPC). Over the next 39 months, this collaborative effort will develop and implement career pathways programs in West Baltimore to provide men, women and veterans who are enrolled in work release programs with education, training and workforce skills.

The WBCPC’s goals are to dramatically improve long-term employment and reduce recidivism among West Baltimore’s returning citizens who are nearing release from prison or home confinement. To achieve these outcomes, Seedco, Bon Secours Community Works, and their WBCPC partners will:

  • Prepare participants for career pathways in local demand sectors by providing access to training, education, job placement and career development services;
  • Address basic needs and life issues that are barriers for success; and
  • Place participants in long-term, well-paying jobs.

Seedco and Bon Secours Community Works will collaborate with a network of community partners in the operation of the West Baltimore Career Pathways Collaborative (WBCPC). The WBCPC leadership team will include representatives from:

  • Seedco (Chair)
  • Bon Secours Community Works (Vice-Chair)
  • Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS)
  • Baltimore Workforce Investment Board (WIB)
  • Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Human Services – Reentry Division
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Whiting Turner Contracting
  • Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare
  • Job Opportunities Task Force

Baltimore residents comprise a third of Maryland’s prison population, and an estimated 10,000 people leave prison and return to Baltimore each year. Many return to the WBCPC target neighborhoods, including Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem Park, which has an incarceration rate eight times greater than the state average. According to Maryland’s Re-Entry Stat, 40.5% of people released from prison in 2009 returned to prison by 2012. We are thrilled that the Department of Labor can see the promise in our community and is helping us to assist returning citizens with a second chance at renewing and reviving their place in the community.

Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services (DPSCS) “With Maryland poised to act on Justice Reinvestment initiatives, the time is now for communities to come together to address the need to provide services for the increasing number of offenders who stand to be released from, or placed into community supervision instead of, prison.”

Samuel Ross, M.D., M.S., Chief Executive Officer, Bon Secours Baltimore Health System “The award from the Department of Labor affirms the life changing work Bon Secours Community Works is doing with returning citizens. We believe the partnership with Seedco will enable us to not only make a positive difference in the lives of the men and women we serve, but also in the west Baltimore community where we can continue to build stronger neighborhoods by empowering citizens with jobs, training and education.”

Barbara Dwyer Gunn, President and CEO, Seedco “Seedco is extremely proud to receive its second Training to Work 3 award from the U.S. Department of Labor and build on our decade of experience helping Baltimore residents move towards economic self-sufficiency. Too often, individuals returning home from prison struggle to find, maintain, and advance in a job, which limits their ability to move out of poverty and avoid recidivism. We have been operating this program in Memphis since 2015, and have already seen how this individualized career pathways model yields benefits for both returning citizens as well as their local communities.”

About Bon Secours Community Works Bon Secours Community Works is a trusted resource to the families and residents in West Baltimore for family support services, workforce development, reentry services, a clean and green program, financial services, early head start, GED and housing initiatives. In all of our activities Community Works attempts to bring God’s healing, compassion and liberation to people and neighborhoods and to be “good help to those in need” ® by promoting and advocating for social justice initiatives that develop sustainable partnerships to address the needs of the community.

About Seedco Seedco is a national nonprofit organization that advances economic opportunity for people, businesses, and communities in need. Seedco designs and implements innovative programs, partnerships, and services to foster vibrant economic development through three primary lines of work: workforce development initiatives, which improve long-term employment outcomes for low-income individuals; family and work support programs, which help low-income individuals and families retain employment and build assets; and technical assistance services for small businesses and nonprofits. The organization operates in Maryland, New York, Georgia, and Tennessee. Seedco is a current U.S. DOL Training to Work 3 grantee in Memphis, Tennessee.

Available for Interviews

Talib Horne, Executive Director, Bon Secours Community Works 410 362-3629 Talib_Horne@bshsi.org

Tara Colton, Senior Vice President, Programs, Seedco 646 688-7270 tcolton@seedco.org

Re-entry Program participants will be available for comment upon request

See also: http://www.seedco.org/seedco-awarded-second-training-to-work-grant-from-u-s-department-of-labor-focused-on-west-baltimore