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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > CFBCI > TLC > Beneficiary Choice Contracting   
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Preparing Ex-Offenders for the Workplace through Beneficiary Choice Contracting

The "Preparing Ex-Offenders for the Workplace through Beneficiary Choice Contracting" grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will provide approximately $5 million in funds to address the specific workforce challenges of ex-offenders and produce positive outcomes with a particular focus on employment and reduced recidivism. Beneficiary Choice contracting allows for a diversity of service styles and approaches while standing squarely within the boundaries of separation of church and state. The participant can select a provider who best meets his or her own personal needs and interests. This encourages greater personal engagement because participants take ownership in choosing the services they receive. The program will focus on ex-offenders age 18-29. The award will be used to achieve four goals:

  • Increase the likelihood of both lower recidivism and successful employment and retention outcomes for ex-offenders.
  • Draw upon the unique strengths of many faith-based and community groups that would not partner with government under more typical funding mechanisms.
  • Advance President Bush’s vision for "expanded choice" by developing and testing effective, replicable models of beneficiary-choice contracting.
  • Develop a detailed manual for federal, state and local agencies that provides substantive guidance for replication of beneficiary-choice contracting.

In addition to basic employment-focused services, each provider will offer its own set of specialized services that can include but are not limited to: one-on-one or group mentoring, soft-skills training, substance abuse counseling, child care services, or English proficiency courses. For more information, see the Beneficiary Choice Press Release.

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