Connecting Reentry Project (RP) Participants to In-Demand Local Industries: Insights from RP Grant Programs

Connecting Reentry Project (RP) Participants to In-Demand Local Industries: Insights from RP Grant Programs

Published: Sep 30, 2022
Publisher: Mathematica
Associated Project

Reentry Projects Grant Evaluation: Serving Justice Involved Adults and Young Adults

Time frame: 2017-2024

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Chief Evaluation Office


Gina Lewis

Brandon Hollie

Key Findings
  • The 27 sites included in virtual visits identified three top industries for partnering: (1) construction; (2) food and hospitality; and (3) transportation, logistics, and warehousing.
  • Eleven employers mentioned being satisfied with RP program partners and enjoyed being able to provide work to justice-involved individuals. Reported elements of successful partnerships included frequent communication, RP staff connecting good candidates to employers, and RP staff staying connected to participants and offering support after job placement.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for RP grantees, especially in the spring 2020. Seven grantees found maintaining and building partnerships to be a greater challenge due to high staff turnover. Partnerships with training providers halted or ended when training centers closed during the pandemic.

This brief focuses on the industries and strategies Reentry Project (RP) grantees used to connect participants to local in-demand industries. Brief findings draw on data collected from virtual site visits with 27 RP programs to identify the industries grantees commonly focused on, describe industry-specific training they used, discuss the development of industry partnerships, and provide insights for connecting individuals with justice involvement to locally in-demand industries. The brief also highlights successes and challenges grantees experienced when engaging and partnering with employers.

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