Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) announced that the Workforce Investment Board of Ventura County (WIB-VC) is one of 20 workforce development boards in the nation to receive a grant from the Department of Labor (DOL) “Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release,” or LEAP initiative.

“I am very pleased that the Department of Labor has recognized the great work that the Workforce Investment Board of Ventura County does to connect employers with job-seekers in our region,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “These critical resources will help WIB-VC ensure that newly-released ex-offenders get a second chance, so that they can work hard and succeed in building a new life. Ensuring these individuals obtain useful job skills will also help prevent recidivism and crime in our communities.”

“The Bridges 2 Work grant will enable us to create a specialized American Job Center inside the Todd Road Jail that will provide pre-release through post-release support to prepare for employment and training,” said Cheryl Moore, WIB-VC Executive Director.  “WIB-VC commends the multi-agency collaboration on this initiative by the County of Ventura Human Services Agency-Community Services Department, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Ventura County Probation Department, and the Job Services Department-California Employment Development Department.”

The LEAP initiative develops and operates satellite American Job Centers (AJCs) inside of correctional facilities to address employment barriers facing incarcerated individuals as they transition into the community and the workforce. The recently released person is “handed off” to their local Job Center, which provides follow-up and support during the critical period following their release. The DOL awarded 20 grants of approximately $500,000 to local workforce investment boards that have demonstrated partnerships with their county or municipal governments and their county, municipal, or regional correctional facilities.

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