Gov. Beshear launches program to boost workforce participation by helping inmates find jobs
FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - State leaders announced two new programs on Monday, November 7 aimed at boosting workforce participation.
Governor Andy Beshear joined Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts announced the programs.
The governor said, to support the economy, fuel the workforce and reduce the chances of someone returning to prison, those transitioning out of prison need a good-paying job.
According to the Department of Corrections, more than 13,100 individuals are released from prison annually after completing their sentence, and one of the most frequent barriers to successful reentry in the United States is the lack of employment.
“My faith teaches me that there are second chances in this life and that we are all our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers,” Governor Beshear said. “I am proud of the work we have done to grow a strong economy and achieve a historically low recidivism rate, and today we are doing even more to support job growth with a new Prison-to-Work Pipeline program and a virtual learning job skills program for inmates returning to society.”
The administration is partnering with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to launch the Prison-to-Work Pipeline at all 13 state prisons and 19 local jails that house state inmates.
According to the governor’s office, businesses located throughout Kentucky’s 120 counties will virtually interview inmates with the goal of the inmate being offered a start date before returning to society.
They say inmates will receive resume writing assistance and job interview preparation prior to their interviews.
Employers interested in participating in the program should contact the Kentucky Chamber.
The governor also announced that the administration is now offering a new virtual learning job skills program.
He said by learning to overcome challenges through this virtual learning experience, inmates will develop the resiliency, perseverance and confidence needed to overcome real-life obstacles and help them answer job interview questions.
The job readiness simulation was created by Marquis Software Development and SimCoach Games.
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