Grant will train ex-prisoners to perform high-demand jobs

A $1.5 million grant for employment and support services for previously incarcerated female adults as they transition back into their communities has been received by the Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida County.

The local grant is part of a $12 million awarded to nine groups around the country by the U.S. Department of Labor. Seven of the recipients will work with adults and two with youth.

"We are very grateful for the Department of Labor’s support in our efforts to ensure that all parts of our community have the opportunity to overcome adversity and create a better life," said Alice J. Savino, executive director of the board.

"Over the three years of this grant, we will be helping 300 women with job training services, counseling to help them deal with domestic violence and other barriers that are very prevalent among women, and also provide training in non-traditional occupations that can help our employers and our economy."

The project will include partnerships with the Oneida County Correctional Facility, Mohawk Valley Community College, Women’s Employment Resource Center, Resource Center for Independent Living and BOCES, according to Savino. Services will begin in September, and that information on the project will be made available on the WIB’s web site,

The money will be used to provide services including job training that leads to credentials in high-demand industries; employment preparation; mentoring; supportive services such as housing, and substance abuse and mental health treatment; family counseling; and assistance with parenting and child reunification.