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Twin Cities RISE! gets $1.5 million grant to help women find jobs after prison

Twin Cities RISE! received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Thursday to provide employment and support services for previously incarcerated female adults and youth, as they make the transition back into their communities.

The local grant is part of a $12 million award to nine nonprofits around the country.

“This is a great opportunity for these women and girls to turn their lives around,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “These federal grants will help them obtain the job training and support services they need to positively contribute to their communities and their families.”

Twin Cities RISE!, founded in 1994, says its mission is to:

“…provide employers with skilled workers – primarily men from communities of color in the Twin Cities area – by training under- and unemployed adults for skilled jobs that pay a living wage of at least $20,000 annually.”

A statement from the Labor Department says:

Providing guidance and support in addition to job training gives previously incarcerated women the stability necessary to improve their educational and employment outcomes, including increasing high school graduation rates, improving literacy and math skills, and entering college and/or other postsecondary training and employment.

Some stats from Labor: According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports,  women accounted for 25.5 percent of all arrests in 2010, including 19.5 percent of arrests for violent crime and 37.6 percent of arrests for property crimes. Over the past 10 years, arrests of men declined by 6.8 percent while arrests of women increased by 10.5 percent.

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