w_george_allen.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — The Opportunities Industrialization Center of Broward County (OICB), a nonprofit workforce development, training and job placement center has received notification from the Department of Labor that it is one of only 18 nonprofit organizations to receive financing for the fifth generation of the Reintegration of Ex-Offender (RExO) – Adult grant.

The $1.2 million grant is to expand employment opportunity services for people released from incarceration, providing training, mentoring, support services and job placement for those returning to Miami-Dade County.

In South Florida, OICB long has provided employment-focused services, including occupational training that leads to industry recognized credentials in demand industries.

The grant will help OICB re-establish its presence in Miami-Dade mirroring the model it has been using in Broward County since 2001 as well as other programs for the target community over the last 11 years.

The program will develop participants’ skills and provide employment opportunities in order to break the cycle of recidivism. Additional services, including mentoring and assistance connected to supportive services such as housing, substance abuse programs and mental health treatment will be part of the program.

“This is about good will, but also simply makes good sense,” said W. George Allen, Esq., chairman of the board for OIC. “The cost of incarceration far exceeds the cost to rehabilitate those who want the opportunity for a better life.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, discussing the RExO program during the Second Chance Conference held in Washington D.C. this past May, said “We all know the statistics: About 44 percent of all incarcerated adults will reoffend when they get out of prison. But for participants in our RExO program, that number has been reduced to 14 percent. We're proud of this program's success. And we owe much of it to the tireless work of our faith-based partners.”

Photo: W. George Allen