The federal government announced $5 million for 10 grants across the nation that will place job centers within or near county, municipal or regional correctional facilities.

The centers will support job training and other classes before prisoners are released to aid with post-release job searches, according to information from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The U.S. Department of Justice says 9 million people are released from county and local jails across the nation — many with few job skills. Ex-convicts face barriers to employment, sometimes leading them to commit new crimes and return to jail.

Earlier this year, the DOL awarded $10 million in grants for demonstration projects in 20 communities in 14 states to provide inmates with services before release and ongoing support once their incarceration ends.

“There is no such thing as a spare American,” said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. “We need to take people where we find them and help them overcome barriers. These grants strengthen our communities by integrating services already available in the community and building partnerships between local correctional systems and the local workforce systems.”

The new initiative will integrate two services already offered by local governments – correctional facilities and workforce development programs, Perez said.

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Earlier this year, the Pikes Peak Workforce Center announced it had received a $203,338 grant from the Colorado Department of Labor to help find former inmates jobs in the community. To read more about the local initiatives, click here.

To read the grant announcement or to apply for the federal grants, click here.