PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) has recently been awarded a grant from a partnership between the U. S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
The total three-year award is worth $277,291 and will focus on providing vocational instruction, life skills training and support services to eligible inmates at the McCracken County Regional Jail.
As part of a more than $14 million investment from the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) initiative, WKCTC is one of 13 grant recipients and the only Kentucky awardee in the eight-state delta region to win grant funding.
“We are pleased to be a part of providing McCracken County Regional Jail inmates with the education, qualification and skills necessary to obtain post-release long-term employment in high-demand, livable wage occupations while simultaneously meeting the needs of our business and industry partners,” said WKCTC President Anton Reece.
Cognitive skills training will also be provided to inmates to support societal re-entry and sustained recovery from substance abuse.
This training will include relapse prevention, moral reasoning, anger management, parenting, decision-making, financial topics, employability skills and behavioral choices.
Pre-release success coaching, career support and job placement services will be provided to inmates, as well as post-release success-coaching and transitional support, including resources for help with food, transportation, living arrangements and referrals to community services.
Training and support will also be offered to industry partners who hire released inmates, as well as job candidate screening and coordination of interviews and hiring.
“This training will empower this often-forgotten population, once released, to become gainfully employed, helping to fill a critical shortage of skilled workers,” said Kevin O’Neill, WKCTC vice president of workforce training and economic development. “This is truly a game changer for the inmates, Paducah/McCracken County and the Commonwealth.”