Hire an Ex-Offender and Get Paid

Former prisoners trying to land jobs and get other services face an uphill battle.

Many employers shy away from hiring someone with a felony conviction.

And lots of people are leery of lending a helping hand to those who have served time behind bars.

But if you’re willing to give an ex-offender a second shot, the government is willing to throw a sizeable chunk of money your way.

Right now, the Department of Labor has $11.7 million earmarked for non-profit agencies that step up and agree to aid former inmates seeking to transition back into mainstream society.

The money is being granted via the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

In a nutshell, the Department of Labor wants to help the 600,000 inmates released annually from prisons and jails to successfully reintegrate into society. But the problem is securing jobs and other much-needed services for these ex inmates.

So the government is providing 10 grants of $1.17 million each to non-profit faith-based and community-based organizations that are assisting ex-offenders returning to high poverty and high crime communities.

Grants are available to organizations that can aid ex-prisoners in any of the following areas:

–       Career counseling and job placement
–       Work opportunities/work experience
–       Substance abuse assistance
–       Mental health treatment
–       Educational services
–       Vocational training
–       Mentoring and case management
–       Housing assistance

The grants are designed to last for a 27-month period.

The deadline to apply for these funds is: March 17, 2011 at 4 pm Eastern Time. No late applications will be considered. So if your group or an organization you know qualifies for this grant, by all means apply as soon as possible.

Your efforts could help change a life – and possibly aid an entire community in the process.

Even if your organization doesn’t qualify for this grant, if you know someone who has a felony conviction, share with them these tips for ex-prisoners seeking employment.

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach is a personal finance expert. Follow Lynnette on Twitter @themoneycoach

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